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Friday, April 26, 2013

Liberals Upset With Democrats For Voting To Mitigate Sequester Pain

By Susan Duclos

Chart via Phil Kerpen
Not even attempting to be subtle anymore, progressive liberals are expressing their disappointment and anger at Democrats in Congress for voting to with Republicans to mitigate the pain for the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the minds of progressive liberals, the pain of necessary cuts should be felt, should be allowed to harm the public, just to make a political point. The public be damned, the GOP must suffer for forcing Obama and Democrats to reduce, by very little percentage wise, the automatic increases in  spending, is the mindset.

Notice the chart to the left, even after the sequester cuts, the FAA's budget was still more than was requested for them by Obama for 2013.

Example:Noam Scheiber at New Republic: "Senate Democrats' Shameful Cave on Flight Delays"

The problem with the deal to end the airport delays—as with so many of the other ways the sequester has been eased—is that it does away impact of the dreaded FAA cut without an alternative that would be roughly as painful for the affluent. It treats the delays as a kind of gratuitous sideshow to the sequester fight when in fact they’re really the whole point. "The public's going to be furious when they find out that this could have been prevented," Republican Senator Dan Coats complained to the Journal. Exactly. And it was only then that they would have had the moral standing to judge the rest of the sequester.

Yes, you see,  to Scheiber, it is a moral thing after all to spend money the country does not have because we are already $16 trillion in debt, and borrow the money to keep spending money we do not have. Those shameful Democrats joined Republicans to prevent suffering delays at the airport.

How dare them!!!

Another example- TPM: "How To Lose The Sequestration Fight"

The point of sequestration is supposedly to create just enough chaos that regular people — people with political clout, such as, say, business travelers — demand that Congress fix it. Or as the Democrats conceived it, to create the public pressure they need to knock Republicans off their absolutist position on taxes. 
Well, they got their outcry…and then promptly folded. They allowed Republicans to inaccurately characterize the FAA furloughs as a political stunt. Then without any organized effort to cast the flight delays as part of the same problem that’s also keeping poor people homeless they assented to providing special treatment to the traveling class.

Couple points here. First, sequestration is about spending cuts. Democrats incorrectly assumed that Republicans truly wouldn't want spending cuts, they were just talking about it and fold on raising taxes yet again... but Republicans said, yes, we do want them and we have them, as law, with sequestration.

Next lie from TPM, Republicans didn't inaccurately portray the spending cuts as a political stunt, they were a political stunt that could have been avoided and just have been by offering some flexibility in how the reductions to the increased spending were implemented.

Guy Benson does an awesome job describing the "political stunt" Democrats attempted and felt backfire in their faces:

The point is that Democrats are desperate to extricate themselves from this mess, which they orchestrated in a bone-headed attempt to rile public anger against any spending cuts.  Good luck with this, guys. Instead of hurting Republicans -- which was the entire point -- this entirely manufactured crisis has infuriated travelers, who inconveniently (a) seem to recall that the sequester was proposed and signed by Obama, and (b) aren't buying the idea that a tiny reduction in the rate of spending increase is enough to justify disruptive furloughs.  They're right on both counts, and even some mainstream media outlets have taken the administration to the woodshed.

Benson also points to a number of  mainstream media outlets calling Democrats and Obama out on their "political stunt."

Chicago Tribune "Hostages on the tarmac!"

You're ignoring the sequester. The president isn't happy. 

Washington Post:

Actually, if the air-traffic furloughs pose both a big inconvenience and a short-term danger to the U.S. economy — and they do — it would be irresponsible to let them go on until an unlikely grand bargain is struck, or even to use them as political leverage to achieve one. Mr. Reid is not a powerless bystander; he should work with the White House and Republicans to help the FAA offset the furloughs, which account for $160 million of the $637 million FAA sequester. That’s not small change, but surely it could be scrounged out of the Transportation Department’s $70 billion budget, given appropriate legislation.

Meanwhile, the airline industry is challenging the Obama administration’s implementation of the furloughs. In a lawsuit filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the airlines argue, plausibly, that the FAA could have carried out the furloughs with far less impact on air travelers, even if the sequestration law gave it no choice whether to impose them.

Specifically, the lawsuit notes that the FAA opted to cut hours 10 percent for all controllers, at all facilities — whether Los Angeles International or Teterboro, N.J. The airlines insist that there would be fewer delays if the FAA furloughed more controllers where there’s less traffic and vice versa. The FAA’s approach “exacerbates sequester-related disruption rather than minimizing it,” their lawsuit says.

 Wall Street Journal:

The FAA furloughs traffic controllers rather than cut other spending.

Back to the TPM quote for a second- What the hell is a "traveling class?" Anyone who flies, for any reason was affected by the delays, so attempting to use class warfare rhetoric that liberals love so much, is intellectually dishonest.

Okay, moving along.....

Then we have Ezra Klein at Wonkblog: "The Democrats have lost on sequestration"

Recall the Democrats’ original theory of the case: Sequestration was supposed to be so threatening that Republicans would agree to a budget deal that included tax increases rather than permit it to happen. That theory was wrong. The follow-up theory was that the actual pain caused by sequestration would be so great that it would, in a matter of months, push the two sides to agree to a deal. Democrats just proved that theory wrong, too.

Notice he doesn't even remind his readers that just a couple months ago, Republicans did allow tax rates to rise on upper income Americans and liberals and Obama also got bonus tax revenue from 77 percent of American workers with the expiration of the payroll tax holiday.

In effect, what Democrats said Friday was that in any case where the political pain caused by sequestration becomes unbearable, they will agree to cancel that particular piece of the bill while leaving the rest of the law untouched. The result is that sequestration is no longer particularly politically threatening, but it’s even more unbalanced: Cuts to programs used by the politically powerful will be addressed, but cuts to programs that affects the politically powerless will persist. It’s worth saying this clearly: The pain of sequestration will be concentrated on those who lack political power.
Democrats had other choices, of course. As Politico’s Glenn Thrush pointed out on MSNBC Friday, President Obama could’ve vetoed the FAA bill while standing at a Head Start that’s about to throw needy children out of the program. He could’ve vetoed it from the home of an jobless worker who just saw her benefits cut. Democrats could simply have insisted that the powerful can’t get out of sequestration unless the powerless can, too. But they didn’t — and they show no signs that they’ll start.

Get that... if Democrats address unbearable pain for Americans, they have lost because they couldn't score political points off Republicans... because making Republicans look bad, means so much more than helping Americans, in the mind of a liberal.

Notice he too, seems to treat anyone that travels is some a member of the "powerful" elite, and the fact that they were saved the pain is someone in a whole different class as those effected by other reductions in automatic increased spending.

This bill ended FAA furloughs, saved jobs, saved time for ordinary travelers at airports and liberals are having an absolute cow at Democrats in Congress for doing it, for no other reason than because they couldn't hurt Republicans.