Robert Reich on the Effects of the Sequester and What President Obama should do Now
Economist Robert B. Reich says our biggest economic problem is not the U.S. Deficit because “the Federal Budget Deficit is down 5% of GDP.” Rather, our “Top Economic Problems” in the U.S. are:
- High Unemployment
- Falling Wages
- Widening Inequality
The Sequester makes the above problems worse by:
- Cutting vital safety nets & investments
- Lays off more workers
- Cuts investments
What is the Solution to the Sequester?
Professor Reich recommends we repeal the sequester with a Reconciliation bill in the Senate (only need 51 votes with a simple majority). Then with a “Build America’s Future Act,” he urges President Obama to “focus on good jobs and prosperity…for the many.”
Build America’s Future Act would:
- Close tax loopholes used by the wealthy
- End corporate welfare
- Impose small (1/10th of 1%) tax on financial transactions
- Reduce the Size of the Military
How revenues from the “Build America’s Future Act” would be used:
1) Half of the Revenues from this Act would be used to Reduce the size of the deficit
2) Half of the Revenues from this Act would be used to invest in our Future: education (early childhood to affordable higher education), for infrastructure and basic research & development
3) Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act
4) Limit on the size of the biggest banks
President Obama must make it clear to the American public that they made a choice in 2012. Reich says “right-wing” republicans have been blocking the people’s choice from 2012.
Reich says the only way to implement that choice is to pass the “Build America’s Future” Act.
If the Republicans fail to pass the “Build America’s Future” Act and end the Sequester, Reich urges Americans to make 2014 a referendum on it and on them and do whatever was necessary to “take back the House of Representatives.”
Shutting down the government would harm our economy. The negative consequences to our economy could be a tipping point for the 2014 election where Americans will decide it is time to get out the vote to “Throw the Bums Out” responsible for the sequester and cuts to key programs that help Americans.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce tells Republicans to stop a government shutdown by passing a spending bill. They know a government shutdown would adversely affect businesses.
Government Shutdown could spark: “Throw the Bums Out who Tanked the Economy Again!”
The sequester is a terrible substitute for reasoned compromise between Democrats and Republicans to come up with a budget that serves the American people.
The Sequester That Should Be Retired and Resolved
On March 1, 2013 automatic cuts totaling $85 billion dollars across all Federal government programs happened arbitrarily due to the “sequester.” The sequester happened due to Democrats and Republicans inability to come together to create a budget for the American people.
The Center for American Progress Maps the Negative Effects of the Sequester
According to the Center for American Progress, many Americans are directly affected by the Sequester. See the map across the U.S.
1) 650,000+ defense workers “will face a 20 percent cut for the rest of the summer”
2) Children face being kicked off their Head Start programs
4) Cancer and medical centers face cuts
44 Million Americans Live In Poverty
According to this report, 44 million Americans live in poverty. Yet, right-wing media outlets continue to blame America’s woes on people in poverty. What? This is nuts.
In 2000 before George W. Bush came into the White House, poverty rates were “at an all time low” according to the Census Bureau. However, over the last decade poverty rates have increased.
Abuse rates in government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are low. However, Fox News makes up its own facts to try and cut this important program that serves the needy and shows positive results.
Robert Reich Reveals Hoax of “Entitlement Reform”
Pass the “Build America’s Future” Act
Stop the Sequester Now