With the sequester looming in a matter of days, right-wing media outlets continue to downplay the adverse effect sequester cuts will have on the economy and jobs. You have the likes of Fox News’ Sean Hannity saying the President is using “scare tactics” and overblowing the economic fallout. “People will continue getting up and going to work as usual”. Easy for a millionaire right-wing radio jock to say but according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), thousands of middle-class Americans will lose their jobs if these cuts go through.
The reality is that thousands of middle-class families will be butchered by these cuts. The real-world effects of the across-the-board cuts includes: laid-off teachers, reduced unemployment insurance for jobless workers, shuttered park offices, furloughed law enforcement officers and on and on. In the state of Virginia, 90,000 civilian military employees will be furloughed at a loss of nearly $650 million in salaries.
While people like Hannity who cannot hide their contempt for this President talk nonsense, Maryland’s Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen put forth and asked the House to vote on a plan that would replace the sequester with mix of targeted cuts and revenue. The plan includes a mix of cuts to excessive agricultural subsidies along with revenue from closing tax breaks to oil companies. It also includes applying the Buffet Rule for people making over $2 million dollars requiring them to pay a minimum 30% tax rate, which polls show most Americans think is fair.
Putting Van Hollen’s plan into effect would amount to the same deficit reduction
benefit as the sequester but over a longer period of time and in a smarter way. Moreover, it would avoid the loss if 750,000 middle-class American jobs that the CBO – and not Sean Hannity – project would result from the sequester.
This Republican idea that we can’t close a single tax loophole to big oil companies and hedge fund managers in order to reduce the deficit is nonsense. Quoting from House Speaker John Boehner, who just got back from a 10-day golf vacation, and had the nerve to tell the Senate to “get off their asses” – House Republicans need to “get off THEIR asses” and vote on this plan and stop obstructing for the sake of obstructing. Stop destroying America’s middle-class and sabotaging America’s financial stability to protect their buddies and doners. Lest they forget, 2014 is around the corner.
As for Sean Hannity – the same guy telling his viewers that America would end if the president is reelected to a second term – accusing other people of using scare tactics to get attention takes pot and kettle to a whole new level.