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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:45 AM

Howard Dean On Sequester: 'Let It Happen'

"We should let it happen," Dean said of $1 trillion in domestic, defense and Medicare spending cuts set to be triggered on March 1. "Iím in favor of the sequester. It is tough on things that I care about a lot, but the fact of the matter is, you are not going to get another chance to cut the defense budget in the way that it needs to be cut."
"Itís an odd view from the left," he conceded.
It certainly is. Then again, Dean's views are often a bit idiosyncratic.

The former Vermont governor was warning against the perils of the Iraq War when it was still considered politically risky to do so. As chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he called for a 50 state strategy when few saw the utility in Democrats making a play for votes in states like Mississippi. When he ran for president in 2004, Dean had the innovative idea of pinning his hopes on grassroots momentum built on top of an online foundation. It was a digitally savvy, progressive template used by a senator named Barack Obama four years later.

But whereas Obama, as president, was forced to shed his renegade persona, Dean kept it going. As the president's health care law was getting watered down in Congress, Dean was one of the first to call for it to be scrapped. After the White House cut a deal this past January to end the Bush-era tax cuts for income above $400,000, he complained loudly that Democrats had gotten worked.

"The Republicans kicked their ass in that deal," he said. "Inside the Beltway people spun it in a different way. But, in effect, the Republicans won that battle."


I wish he'd run again. Sigh.

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Reply Howard Dean On Sequester: 'Let It Happen' (Original post)
octoberlib Feb 2013 OP
Laelth Feb 2013 #1
Kolesar Feb 2013 #2
Drahthaardogs Feb 2013 #4
ellisonz Feb 2013 #6
mucifer Feb 2013 #3
octoberlib Feb 2013 #5
ellisonz Feb 2013 #7

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:50 AM

1. k&r for Howard Dean. n/t


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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:31 AM

2. Indiscriminate military spending hardly stimulates the economy

A few labs and aerospace companies will have revenue, but all of that resource is ultimately wasted. It is not as effective as weatherproofing jobs, unemployment insurance, or the just-expired "payroll tax cut".

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:49 AM

4. I have intimate knowledge of work at the DoD.

Anyone who thinks that this is just going to hurt Boeing and Booze Allen and Hamilton is way off. Our government directly or indirectly employs a staggering amount of people. They are all going to get a %20 pay cut. 20% is a lot of money for a lot of people, there is not way to make it up. No unemployment etc.

The sad thing about it is, this will now hurt those who do not work for the government or with the government. Less dinners out, less vacations, less cars, etc. EVERYONE in the country is going to feel this. It is going to hurt.

Make no mistake, defense always needs to be cut at the conclusion of a war, but this, this sequester is not "cutting defense". It is cutting just about every government program and employee by %10-20%.

In other words, the GOP just go their austerity moment. Greece made it look so sexy they could just not help themselves.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:40 AM

6. The Defense Budget has doubled since 9/11.

What do we have to show for it? The economy is in the pits, our interest payments on our debt are a serious drag: http://treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm - we have an un-balanced budget, our nation isn't anymore secure because of it, and we're failing to make the investments in our country to make it through the next century.

If the choice is between taking it out on social services that keep people from the pit and hurting defense contractors to me...well then I favor the latter.

The White House has taken some positive steps on the Defense budget, but much more is needed. BTW - if we keep going on this path we are going to be much worse than Greece. Let's get the damn car out of the ditch for good. The President should propose a package where for every dollar taken out of the Defense budget a dollar is invested in infrastructure and green energy and we should take out what we need to do that on an equal proportion with stopping the cuts to social services.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:30 AM

3. Unfortunately, there is more to sequestration than military cuts.

Lots more people will suffer.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:03 PM

5. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to lose their job. Dean thinks if we don't pay now, we'll pay later

Here's Deans reasoning: Sam Stein: Thereís a school of thought that says now is just not the right time to do any cuts of any variety. [Congressional Budget Office Director] Doug Elmendorf testified that if sequestration went through, youíd lose 750,000 jobs in the first year. So what about the argument that you should put off sequestration for a year and not have any cuts at all?

Howard Dean:Well, the problem is that itís never a good time to do cuts. When I look at these guys on Sunday talk shows, theyíre all over the place. They all say we need cuts and when you try to pin them down, they don't have any. So either they can be serious about the deficit or not. They're not. And I think cutting the Pentagon is the good thing to do. I donít think weíre going to get another chance. If you want to put this off for six months, yeah okay. But I donít want to miss this chance. We already missed our chance before.

In the last year, what they did was they made permanent the Bush tax cuts under $400,000. The Republicans kicked their ass in that deal. And inside the Beltway people spun it in a different way. But, in effect, the Republicans won that battle. And now, I think weíve got to make the cuts and if we donít make the cuts, then the deficit will be dealt with in a worse balance later on.

SS:The sequester is broad. It doesn't discriminate between good or bad programs. Aren't you worried about what effect hundreds of billions in Medicare provider cuts will have?

Dean:No. Iím not in the least worried about Medicare provider cuts. The president essentially proposed them in the State of the Union. Whether this comes from drug companies or provider cuts, weíre going to do those anyway as soon as they get around to doing what really has to be done, which is paying by the patient, not by the procedure.

Itís an odd view from the left. But there are actually some people who think Iím right.

SS:Youíre comfortable risking a short-term recession to take advantage of this opportunity.

Dean:I think youíve got to. It will be a short term, light, small recession. Look, weíre in deep trouble financially in this country. And, you know, thereís going to be a tremendous amount of pain. You can pay me later or you can pay me now, but paying later is going to be much worse and itís going to hit much more vulnerable people than this does.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:43 AM

7. Dean is an actual budget hawk.

We've got to get out of this kick the can move and go big. The real problem I've had with Simpsons-Bowles is that what it looks to do to entitlements is what we should be doing to the Pentagon! - Every branch of the military is getting new major weapon systems in the next decade but we're going to cut the WIC program.

Fucking war machine.

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