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Editorial: Sequester is doing more harm than good

Well, here we go again. This time it isn’t a fall off a fiscal cliff but the economic face plant in an empty swimming pool that will occur if $85 million in federal spending cuts called for by that congressional doomsday machine, the sequester, can’t be avoided. The deadline is less than a week away – the first cuts are expected to begin on March 1 – but Republicans, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte, continue to insist that the deficit must be reduced solely through spending cuts and not, as President Obama wants, with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the well off.

The Pentagon, which contributes $69 million to New Hampshire’s annual payroll, estimates that it will have to furlough 800,000 civilian employees for varying periods of time if the cuts go through. The impact will hit the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the state’s defense industry employers and their subcontractors hard. Domestic spending cuts will mean less money for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other state and local employees in New Hampshire and everywhere else.

Last week, the president stumped the nation to sell his plan and blame Republicans for the personal hardship and economic damage that the sequester in defense will have. Meanwhile Ayotte, who has become part of the Republican spin machine, was pushing her completely silly proposal to avoid the sequester with legislation that would reduce the number of federal employees by 10 percent. Her plan would allow federal agencies to hire only one person for every three lost to attrition. That simplistic plan shouldn’t be taken seriously. The nation’s deficit isn’t the result of too many federal employees. It was caused by bloated defense spending, unpaid for wars, unaffordable tax cuts and the unchecked rise in health care costs and a recession. And across-the-board cuts like those Ayotte calls for are needs-blind and inherently dumb. As a former state agency head, Ayotte knows that, but she’s having too much fun grandstanding with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to admit it.

Just as it did in 1996, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down government in a budget battle with President Bill Clinton, the public will blame Republicans for the harm caused by the sequester, and they’ll be right. What has become the Grand Obstructionist Party would rather compromise the nation’s security and cut benefits like food stamps for the poor and benefits for the elderly than permit taxes to be increased by even a fraction on corporations and the rich.

The sequester arose out of an unprecedented Republican refusal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, an act that held the economy hostage and led to the first-ever reduction in America’s credit rating. It was a gamble that the American people lost. Make no mistake: The public has had it with manufactured Republican crises like the debt ceiling and the falling of the sequester ax. They, and we, have no faith that if this crisis is averted, perhaps by once again kicking the can down the road with a postponement, GOP leaders won’t gin up another one.

Members of Congress, Ayotte included, should stop this game of chicken and vote to abolish the sequester. It’s done far more harm than good. Then, maybe, they can get on with the business of finding a compromise that includes wise spending cuts and the long overdue reform of the nation’s tax code. No one put it better than Kevin Drum, writing in Mother Jones: “If you’re holding a gun to the American economy’s head, the first thing to do is put down the gun.”

Legacy Comments45

Bruce: More on "Bonzo" from Joey:

As usual Bruce you twist everything everybody says. You obviously assume a lot in your post about what you think I am thinking. No sense explaining to you detail by detail what I meant as you will just twist it to your agenda. But then again, that is how you roll. Leave out what actually happened. Just sit back and watch your pal Obama follow FDR's agenda. But then again, the folks who are all about big govt taking care of them would have no idea about economics or how things work. If they did, they would not need the govt to take care of them and their bad choices.

Correct RabbitNH, if you argued that the sky was blue, he would somehow find some obscure information from some academic which proved that it was really orange and somehow your political beliefs made you believe that it was blue. Don't forget, these are the folks who don't like to keep score in youth sports, the losers win trophies as well as the winners, math is relative, morals are relative, ethics are relative, believe that we evolved from a single cell organism, who dislike this country and what it stands for, who see anyone right of Marx as a fascist and would gladly see mankind disappear to that the Delta Smelt could survive. They don't like to be told what to do in the bedroom but in the kitchen they want to tell others how to eat and how much and what to eat. Choices? They would say that people deserve as many chances at other peoples expense to get it right and that we need to be silent about that. There is a societal reason why there are "shirkers" and "workers"; "haves and have nots", "makers and takers", "producers and the entitled folks" is about ambition, drive, motivation and yes "choices".

Obviously Bruce you are not up to date on what was presented to avert the sequestration.Here is what the President offered. 1.6 trilion tax increase. A new round of stimulus spending to the tune of 85 Billion. An end to the congress controlling how much we can borrow. Yeah this President is a compromiser, NOT. Where are his cuts in spending and entitlement reform Bruce?

It needs to be noted that Obama's cuts were also cuts to budget increases and not cuts to what is now being spent.

Obama's current offer is 2/3 cuts to 1/3 revenue increases via closing loopholes--which Republicans now regard as tax increases--though Martin Feldstein and Gregory Mankiw have tried to persuade them otherwise. Republicans are nuts not to take this deal--but then we already knew that, when during the primary none of the Republican candidates would take even a 10:1 spending/ taxes deal. Meanwhile, Obama has demonstrated his willingness to cut vital social programs and further shred the social safety net in pursuit of a "Grand Bargain" that to progressives more closely resembles a "Grand Betrayal." Which of us is not 'up to date'? Or more accurately, spinning economic fairy tales? We have 3 decades of data on the effects of those fairy tales already. Demonizing Obama is yet another one, when he's already demonstrated a willingness to (wrongly) accept austerity measures that will slow and perhaps halt the recovery.

Obama is willing to make cuts to social programs? No, he is willing to make cuts to the rate of growth of social programs, not the programs themselves. I am more concerned with government bureaucracy and the cuts outlined in the GAO report. We also need less agencies, less studies funded by the government and Obama needs to be a leader and lead by example and sacrifice his travel and excess while at the same time he asks the American people to "sacrifice".

This year the govt has taken in more taxes that at any time in history and still has a $1 TRILLION annual deficit.....only a democrat can think that it is sustainable to TAX intelligent person would surmise that it is way past time to SPEND LESS

As usual, you're throwing out numbers devoid of any context. The economy has grown significantly--which accounts for the increase in gross receipts. But try looking at taxes as a % of GDP, and then compare to other advanced democracies. Then look at who's benefitted the most from 3 decades of economic growth in this country--it hasn't been shared equitably, not when wages for 50% of Americans have remained stagnant since the early 1970's--despite productivity increases. Americans are working longer hours, and acquired higher debt to keep up with costs--things no one would have thought possible in 1970.

Hey Bruce, who's idea was he sequestrian?

I can answer that, we all know the pat answer. You see, Republicans forced Obama's hand because he has been so darned honest and fair with them and the Tea Party, you see, yes the Tea Party, that's the ticket, you see, are controlled by the Koch Brothers and along with ALEC, they forced Obama to propose the sequester. Of course we would not need the sequester if evil Republicans, yeah, that's what they are, .....evil! Well you see, they caused this mess and they need to be taught a lesson for their success, yes, they are all greedy and selfish and there needs to be wealth redistribution.....WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!, yeah that is the ticket and BETTER RED THAN DEAD too, yeah that makes sense. Now, the sequester, you see would not be necessary if it was not for Reagan, Taft, Harrison and Madison and of course see, they were all to blame. Now, Bush has an "s" in it and so does "s"equester so, you see, there it is, it is Bush's fault. I know this because I rely on my low information news to be spoon fed to me (along with talking points) from MSNBC, Think Progress, Move On and Democracy Now! (Love that network, they are so correct on "social justice" or as us progressives call it, "social JUST US)".....after all, we are smarter and more clever and our statistics and facts may be lies but we know how to present them as if the "time for discussion is are wrong!" Those tax cuts for the rich that we talk about all of the time sure are working, they worked for Chavez as well. Oh speaking of Hugo, not to be confused with my Yugo, I am so darned upset that he has passed on. He really represented my world view......"POWER TO THE PEOPLE". Well RabbitNH, I need to go brush my 60's ponytail now and I am fresh out of cliches and misinformation so I will bid you adieu (so Euro of me) for now. I haven't felt this good since Woodstock......the economy is controlling people, we have an arrogant president, we are getting wealth redistribution and things look so bright for our future everywhwere. PS-it was Bush's fault for this 5 year economy and he had the idea for sequestration, yeah, that's the ticket.........WHEW!

The idea for sequestration this time around originated in the WH, though the original sequestration goes back, I think to the Reagan era, as a way to deal with the red ink his tax cuts were making. But the fact the idea originated in the White House does not by any means absolve Republicans of responsibility for what is currently taking place. The sequester had bi-partisan support, and 174 House Republicans voted for it, including John Boehner. Obama has proposed almost the same amount of cuts, but with revenue increases as well via closing loopholes. Republicans--the party of 'NO', refuse to acknowledge reality --and public opinion, that spending cuts must be combined with increased revenue. This refusal to acknowledge reality is the reason the sequester has begun to kick in.

Obama changed the rules. Just because 51% of those who voted for him (mainly ideologues, those who fell for his hyperbole and low information voters) does not mean that everyone has to roll over and allow him to steamroll his way to his ideological dream. He got his increased revenue, he can "redistribute" that but to get more is unacceptable.

When you can't argue with the facts, in this case on both the origin of sequestration and on assessing blame or credit for it--change the topic.

Nice try Bruce. Lew and Obama did not invent sequestration, they decided to use it as a tool to get the Reps to buckle to more spending. They called his bluff and now we are stuck with forced cuts. Forced cuts because this President refuses to deal. Everything is off the table he states. He refuses to pass a budget, and wants more spending. He cannot compromise on anything, and now because of that, he was dumb enough to think that the Reps would fold with a threat of sequestration. He boxed himself into a corner. This President is incompetent. He is so ingrained in his agenda, he has no idea what the impacts are of his policies.Any President who who is not econmically savy will ruin the economy. Just like FDR, this President will extend our recession.

More fevered imaginings from the nether regions of the economic deniosphere that still pretends FDR extended the Great Depression, when the facts, as presented elsewhere on this thread, say otherwise. And the Great Recession was declared at an end by economists some time ago. The pace of recovery has been slow because the stimulus was too small-- thanks mainly to the Tea Party politics of anti-government obstruction that has infected or intimidated nearly the entire Republican Party. Whether the nation slips back into recession is a question for the economists. For patriotic Republicans, hope springs eternal.

Following up on my comments below: Rabbit's claim that Obama "cannot compromise" is laughable. The sequester would go away if the Republicans had agreed to close loopholes in the tax system. Obama was willing to see cuts in entitlements (that's one example of his willingness to compromise) in exchange for closing those loopholes. But once again, the Republicans choose to protect their base--the have-mores, rather than compromise for the good of the nation. And Republican sycophants on this site continue to make things up out of whole cloth regarding the issues.

Gen-x. The repeated negative labeling of anyone who disagrees with you or the resident - makes no one in this room - look taller or smarter. Do you really think anyone is the tea party is an idiot? Do you really believe that other people you meet on the street everyday, do business with, drive along side and shop - are all idiots if they do not believe like you? If we want the legislative and executive branches of gov't to get along and occasionally compromise - maybe we need to be role models for them. A bit of civility and mutual respect may inspire the improvements we would both like to see.

Question of the day: "Do you really think anyone in the tea party is an idiot?" "Anyone"? Is this a trick question?

Obama is doing more good than harm, according to the US Treasury: "The President's budget cuts the deficit and stabilizes the debt." So why do Republicans continue to focus like a laser on destroying jobs and creating another recession? Oh, I get it, here's their brilliant plan: Screw up the economy and blame it on Obama. Then rile up morons to vote for more no-clue Tea Party obstructionists to do more harm than good. Then blame Obama some more in 2016 in order to re-take the White House. Then do the same things Reagan and Bush did: Double or triple the debt again by ripping off Social Security to hand out more huge tax cuts to the wealthy, and by starting some more wars for their contractor friends, while ramping up the climate change profits for their billionaire backers. Then leave all the debt and finance charges for the kids to pay.

I think we're on the same page here. All this from the party that likes to trumpet their patriotism. People need to stop worrying about the Kardashians and start paying attention to public policy.

Sequestration, if it's prolonged, risks causing another recession. In 1937, Roosevelt listened to bad advice from his Treasury Sec, a deficit hawk, and cut spending to balance the budget. This was after 3 straight years of recovery--the strongest peace-time growth in our history. The result was the recession of 1937-8. Realizing his mistake, the next year FDR increased spending again, and the jobless rate dropped once more.

Well, sequestration is an idea created by Jack Lew and Obama....that is a fact. This economy is being managed poorly by.....,Obama. Yes, I know that your statistics, spinning like a tornado will soon appear here, presented as facts. But honestly, this is 2013 not 1937. If you want to learn from history, you are, once again, choosing the wrong lessons.

In other words, "Don't confuse me with facts." Like this one, for example: sequestration was NOT "an idea created by Jack Lew and Obama...." Instead, the idea of sequestration dates at least from the Reagan era, and to efforts by Sens. Graham, Rudman (R.I.P.) and Hollings, among others, to get a handle on the red ink Bonzo's tax cuts generated.

There you go again Bruce, changing history to suit your agenda. You do that by leaving out facts. Spending was cut by .07% by FDR. He raised the Corp Tax to 79%. The Wagner Act created Union Strikes. The defict exploded. FDR's pulic castigation of business shutdown private investment, A higher payroll tax. President Obama is doing exactly what FDR did. Extending the Recession. Like FDR, President Obama has no clue what he is doing economically wise.

I'm not the one trying to change history--you're doing that. No matter how you try to square the circle, these stubborn facts remain: the decline in the economy began to reverse itself right after FDR's "Hundred Days" of aggressive activity. He recognized that balancing a budget in 1933 or 34 would have been disastrous for the economy and "a crime against the American people" (his words). The period between 1933-1937 was the fastest period of peacetime growth in our history. That only happened because of deficit spending by the federal government. (And the ultimate stimulus plan--spending on WW2, helped set the stage for decades of prosperity). At the start of the NewDeal, there was broad agreement from finance and banking, big business, and from a wide swath of politicians including from the south and the west, about how to proceed. Minimum wage agreements had the support of the Chamber of Commerce, whose then-head stated:"We must take out of competition the right to cut wages to a point which will not sustain an American standard of living...." This policy--broadly agreed to by American industry, of paying fair minimum wages for reasonable work weeks, had the desired effect of increasing aggregate demand for goods and services. Unions had nothing to do with this policy--in the early 30's they were weak and had few members. Much of the organizing and strikes of the late 30's might have been avoided if the NIRA had remained in place--permitting more cooperation and efficient coordination between companies in the same industry--cartels, allowing us to evolve more like the German industrial model (still the best), with high union membership, and bargaining that goes on at the regional and national level. Today, those countries with broader unionization have the same levels of productivity increases as we do, but those increases are shared more equitably, and there is greater upward economic and social mobility in those countries than in ours. You can look it up. Your alternative vision would have meant a continuation of the economic free fall still taking place despite Hoover's best efforts (many of FDR's policies just expanded his). However you slice it, the Great Depression was the result of market failure. Roosevelt rescued (many would say "saved") capitalism from itself by getting sensible regulations put in place. Those regulations worked effectively and well until their dismantling, beginning in the 80s. You can look that up too.

This post demonstrates the kind of convoluted thinking that twists logic and historical fact into nonsense. Let's parse: "Spending was cut by .07% by FDR...The deficit exploded." It's a neat trick to cut spending, raise taxes, yet have the deficit "explod[e]." Or this one: "A higher payroll tax." There was NO payroll tax until FDR created Social Security, and decided upon a payroll tax levied on both employee and employer to pay for it. It's a very modest form of social insurance that is self-sustaining, and mirrors those in every other advanced democracy. And this one: "The Wagner Act created Union Strikes." Really? And all by itself? And does the poster not imply, via mis-statement, that the signal achievement of the New Deal, Social Security, not only prolonged the Great Depression, but was also a bad idea? Such clarity of thinking and writing! Such confusion of cause and effect! Back in the real world, we know that the Great Depression began to lift soon after FDR took office--in response to policies he implemented--such as the bank holiday. We can only imagine what those on the right who advocated doing nothing--the "hard-core liquidationists" as Herbert Hoover called them, would have done to the economy and the nation had they been allowed to let market failure run its course--(the libertarian solution to any problem)--but needless to say, much human misery would have ensued from such misplaced faith in the magic of unregulated markets. Rabbit must be channeling their spirits with her Ouja Board.

Gen-x - Narcissism is a wonderful buffer to blank those inconvenient promises made to the voters and congress. I heard what he said - however, his action (via his staff) my way or no way. Compromise? The congress just saw what happens when they compromise with this lot. More gov't handouts and re-distribution policies (stealing from those who have earned) - will not help with a deficit that has doubled and not been improved since the resident got in. He and his staff blindly recite "take from the wealthy" that they can't even see macroeconomic realism. They would head us toward an Italy-like experience and imprint on their followers to treat anyone who disagrees with THIER plan as the enemy.

I don't follow your reference to narcissism and promises. What promises? If you want to talk about compromise let's not forget how we got into this mess in the first place: the Tea Party wing of the GOP refused to compromise on raising the debt ceiling in 2011 (which lead to a down-rating of our credit rating). The debt ceiling has been raised about 80 times since 1960. Suddenly it's a big deal. Now, I'm not saying that we should just spend like drunken sailors but we're trying to cut the wrong way. 60% of our budget is Medicaid, Medicare and defense. THAT is where the meat is. That is where we must cut. And Medicare will only chew up more and more of our budget as baby boomers retire and health care costs keep going up and up. Our health care cost is the 800 pound gorilla. It will crush us. That is why I keep harping about it. Our barely-regulated health care system is broken. Everyone knows it. The only logical solution is a single-payer system. Every other modernized country in the world has figured this out but us. Or do you really think that we're just that much smarter than the rest of the world?

On top of being broken and costing too much, our employer contributions to health care are causing much of the job outsourcing. US companies avoid paying for health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and SS, by outsourcing to China, where all citizens are covered at lower cost, and where employers pay for none of it. We should have simplified our system long ago. Obamacare seems like a complicated mess, but it's a move in the right direction. I'd be for consolidating Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance into one simpler national program that covers everyone, paid for through income taxes and a national sales tax.

“”furlough 800,000 civilian employees”” I have not heard the number of Congressional people that will be furloughed. Will they be cutting staff members and reducing their budgets? Can we get by with fewer dysfunctional members of Congress or are they exempt from the cuts? Will Congress be taking a 20% pay cut. Always interesting how many of the small people they are perfectly willing to sacrifice while they feel nothing, except another tax cut for themselves and friends at the top.... I wonder how many of those Republican voters that get the 20% drop in pay, those that lose their jobs and benefits or those forced into foreclosure will remain stanch republicans next election.

Once upon a time, back in the 1980s, a herd of the elephants was taught that they could use a new kind of credit card, called Trickle Down Deficits Don't Matter (TDUMB), to buy all sorts of toys and gifts. So they went out on spending sprees for 3 decades and charged lots of big sticks to play with, and generous 1040 gift cards for their top bracket friends to use any time in the future, on their new TDUMB card. Then something strange happened in January 2009, when the elephants suddenly discovered a US debt clock and wondered things like "Who built that" and "Why is the big number on it going up so fast". At the same instant the elephants memory kicked in about the fine print on their TDUMB card that said "Deficits Don't Matter only when used by elephants.....Any unauthorized use of the TDUMB card by donkeys will result in Deficits Do Matter". The elephants blamed the donkey leader for using the TDUMB card to pay for the elephant's TDUMB card finance charges and all the 1040 gift card bills that were still being carged to the TDUMB card by the elephant's friends. Then the elephants went on a rampage and began shouting "shut it down" and even tried to push all the donkeys (and everyone else) off a fiscal cliff. Apparently now the elephant's new old reasoning is to force the sequestration (that they voted for after their fiscal cliff caused a credit downgrade) onto the leader of the donkey herd. Meanwhile the donkeys are trying to clean up the huge elephant mess. Research should be done to see if America could run on fumes.

Flashback: In 2011 Obama Threatened to Veto Any Efforts to Undo Sequester Cuts (Video)....see the video here......

Please Monitor editors, please do your homework. The sequester calls for $85B, not $85M in cuts.

Sequestration was Obama/adm's idea. They made a deal with congress and the voters to exchange the tax increases they wanted for revenue cuts - they suggested. Now that their concept looks politically unpalatable and financially untenable - they, once again, want to deny any responsibility and blame their mess on someone else. How can other parties or the voters make plans or propose solutions when the admin keeps backing out of the deals - they made? The resident of the white house and his administration are without credibility.

What is even more ridiculous is the fact that Obama supporters just can't admit the truth and they are so inflexible and closed minded that they won't admit that it is his fault.

Then stop reading it online. Congress is in charge of the purse. It is in the Constitution. Look it up. Deep spending cuts will send us the way of England, Spain and Italy. Austerity does not work in a recession. This is not your household buget. It is a country of 320 million and people need to work to get paid to buy products to pay taxes to get out of a recession and pay down the debt. No reason to make it complicated. You are so filled with hate for Obama you can not look at anything in a unbiased way.

So what is the answer? Keep spending on failed green energy companies? Would relaxing rules and regulations, giving incentives to companies through lower taxes not do the same thing....."people need to work and get paid to buy products to pay taxes"? No one is filled with hate, but we are frustrated that no matter how impotent Obama is, his supporters never admit it. We have a spending and leadership problem, not a revenue problem. Unbiased? You must be kidding.

I can tell you what the answer isn't: trickle down economics, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of the financial industry, starting two wars without funding them, doubling the defense budget every 10 years, unlimited anonymous campaign donations....sounds like a spending and leadership problem.

Talking points but I will agree with you on unlimited donations to Democrats from union money laundering, George Soros funded groups and free advertising on all of the main stream (government) media.......there is a leadership problem, with Obama! "Tax cuts for the rich" is simply hyperbole and rhetoric and it is really getting old, is that all you've got? Typical Gen -X er.

$85 Billion less spending in a $3.6 TRILLION budget......HOW DRASTIC ! ! ! ....2013 Federal spending will still be higher than 2012 and 2012 spending was higher than 2011....that is democrat leadership for ya....the sky is falling the sky is falling....democrats the party of NO = NO BUDGET, NO IDEAS, NO PLAN

This is how the Monitor and the liberal media are in cahoots with Obama. Obama lies and the liberal media propagate those lies. Bob Woodward not exactly a conservative reporter exposing Obama’s and the liberal media’s lies Obama Vowed To Use Veto To Keep Sequester. So Obama introduced sequestration, he gave Republicans no choices other than sequestration because he vowed to veto anything that didn’t have sequestration Here is Obama the liar making that vow: The Monitor should be ashamed of being involved in this propaganda. Instead of attacking Kelly Ayotte they should be attacking Obama. This is why I did not renew my subscription to the Monitor when it expired.

The president may have introduced the sequester to try to force Congress to work out a compromise but he didn't create it. Congress did. And he never said he would veto anything without a sequester. He said he would veto anything that didn't balance budget cuts with tax increases (primarily on the wealthy). Public opinion is on the president's side here. Of course this is unacceptable to Republicans because the tax advantages of their wealthy bank-rollers must be protected at all cost. Now, some Republicans actually want the sequester to go into effect. They just want government spending cut no matter how. Now, if some popular government services are delayed or cut, polls show that by almost a 2:1 margin Republicans will be blamed. See, people are tired of these self-made crises. People are tired of the Republican obstructionism. 50% spending cuts and 50% tax increases on the wealthy sounds fair to me and a whole lot of other people.

November 21, 2011.....President Obama is promising to veto any effort to undo the automatic spending cuts ........"Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No," Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. "I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending."....."There will be no easy off ramps on this one.," he added…...FACTS are FACTS

Yes, yes, that was the clip played by Fox News the other day. But here's a more complete clip of what the president said:" Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts. Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise -- not turn off the pressure. The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. That's exactly what they need to do. That's the job they promised to do. And they've still got a year to figure it out. [The White House, 11/21/11]" Another FACT: Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor of the sequester deal in 2011. However, I do agree with you that cutting 85B shouldn't be such a huge deal in a 3.5T budget.

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