The Blame Game Continues
The details the White House released over the weekend are eye-opening. In Ohio, Mr. Boehner’s home state, the cuts could cost 30,000 jobs. An 8 percent cut in federal research grants “would probably bring us to our knees,” said Dr. Thomas Boat, dean of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
New York would lose $42.7 million in education aid, according to the White House, putting at risk nearly 600 jobs for teachers and their aides. About 12,000 civilian defense workers would be furloughed, and there would be big cuts to grants for law enforcement, job training, child care, public health and environmental protection.
The White House should have released these kinds of details months ago, when there was more time to make a strong case to the public against these cuts. Instead, administration officials failed to discuss the consequences, fearing political blame while confidently predicting the Republicans would cave. The result of that miscalculation — and of the Republican disdain for the health of the economy and those who depend on government services — will become clearer in just a few days….NYT
The “sensible” media feel honor-bound (that’s the way they’d put it, not me!) to find ways to blame both sides of the debate. The Times editors fall into this trap. Let’s not forget, “the White House” was in campaign mode “months ago.” But leave aside that “White-House-shoulda” comment and they’re right.
As one astute reader of this blog noted yesterday, the effect of the White House’s efforts are being felt on the Hill.
The administration made a sharp play today, releasing a list of how the upcoming Sequester Plague is going to affect each individual state. (You will note the predominance of red states with Republican governors in the Top 20. Here’s Kansas, the most enthusiastic lab rat in the Republican experiment, and it will lose $5.5 million in school funding and have around 8000 defense-related employees furloughed. When will someone take these moochers and looters in hand?) There’s some not unexpected bleating coming from John Boehner’s office, as they duck phone calls from the district and hide behind …the curtains… Charles Pierce, Esquire
Dana Milbank, writing in the Washington Post today, nails the Republican attitude.
A meat cleaver hangs over the federal government, but the unflappable men and women of the House majority remain cool and poised.
With just four days left to stop automatic spending cuts from affecting everything from air travel to food inspections, House Republicans had but one item on their agenda Monday: renaming a NASA facility in California.
H.R. 667, as this urgently needed legislation is known, would “redesignate the Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.”
You’d have to be on another planet to think that renaming NASA operations is Congress’s most pressing order of business this week. But for Republicans, using this moment to honor the first man to walk on the moon is not lunar lunacy. The naming proposal, sponsored by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), was taken up at a time when House Republicans are pursuing a considered strategy of deliberate idleness. …Milbank,WaPo
A Democratic representative speaks up.
The lone Democrat to speak, Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.), noted the irony in the vote. “We will do our renaming today,” she said, and then “we will take an ax hammer to NASA’s budget on March 1, at the end of this week, taking out $894 million from an already strapped budget. I dare say future generations will not be inspired by what this Congress will do.”
The speaker declared another recess. ...Milbank,WaPo
Pew Research has the last word with its latest poll.