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OT: Sequester

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Showing 1-25 of 74 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2013, 11:47:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013, 11:47:57 AM PDT
Brykume says:
Yeah, I know ya'll hate politics.. but this made me particularly sad. Members of the media are running around saying "no big deal.. we need these cuts, blah blah".. but.. just take a look:

(Author: James Fallows)

If you haven't come across it yet, please do see the open letter published yesterday on our Politics Channel from the directors of three of the U.S. National Labs. These places are famous around the world, and are rightly seen as symbols of American scientific excellence and bulwarks of long-term American strength. The three authors are Paul Alivisatos, Eric Isaacs, and Thom Mason, from, respectively, the Lawrence Berkeley, Argonne, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

The title of their essay gets the point across: "The Sequester Is Going to Devastate U.S. Science Research for Decades." That may sound extreme, but here is the heart of their case:

"It's not yet clear how much funding the National Labs will lose, but it will total tens of millions of dollars. Interrupting -- or worse, halting -- basic research in the physical, biological, and computational sciences would be devastating, both for science and for the many U.S. industries that rely on our national laboratory system to power their research and development efforts.

Instead, this drop in funding will force us to cancel all new programs and research initiatives, probably for at least two years. This sudden halt on new starts will freeze American science in place while the rest of the word races forward, and it will knock a generation of young scientists off their stride, ultimately costing billions in missed future opportunities."

My sense from afar is that an "oh, it's not really that bad" attitude is setting in about America's permanent-emergency approach to public funding. This is a reminder that it really could be that bad. And on that point, a scientist I know in California has written:

"When I was a kid, in the 1970s, there were about 2000 'operational' weather balloon sites that released balloons synchronized to be in the middle of the troposphere at 00 and 12 UTZ daily.

When I did a survey of how many there were in 2000, there were about 800. There are myriad reasons, the relative poverty of many countries that can't afford to pay for the programs and geopolitics among them.

The number is about to drop precipitously due to a contrived crisis by a rich nation.

I am deeply ashamed for my country."

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 11:49:28 AM PDT
D_Strasse says:
Next they'll be doing something really drastic like cancelling White House tours or something.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 11:52:19 AM PDT
McAwesomeo says:
It should shock me how they can't come to a simple compromise when the alternative is something both sides see as terrible and something to be avoided. But sadly it doesn't.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 11:52:48 AM PDT
MrFoxhound says:
We're turning into Rome. The politicians aren't working for the people and are letting their personal squabbles interfere with their daily jobs.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 11:55:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013, 11:56:06 AM PDT
Brykume says:
I took a White House tour when I was in 5th grade, with my family. I recently discovered it was because my Mom requested it of a state representatitive. The tour was an amazing experience.

It saddens me that people in this country constatly trot out the "we are broke" line for wanting to, and succeeding in, cutting public functions that are essential for a brighter future for this country. We are still amongst the wealthiest nations in the world. Public investment is necessary for progress. The investing priorities of private business and the marketplace aren't enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 11:57:53 AM PDT
D_Strasse says:
And yet we've voted him in twice. Go figure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 11:59:14 AM PDT
DVvM says:
I don't think it's a "him" I think it's a "them" as in "all of them" as in "every single elected official (or at least a sufficiency thereof.)"

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 11:59:26 AM PDT
D_Strasse says:
I completely agree.

The "problem" I have is that responsible public investing is a FAR cry from what we're getting now. We have redundant programs galore and we can't find a single one to cut or restructure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:00:56 PM PDT
D_Strasse says:
While my comment was a snide poke at a politician I detest, the actual problem is this country is simply getting more and more polarized, especially as we self segregate into progressive and conservative communities.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:05:18 PM PDT
Anthony says:
1. Obama and the democrats are trying to blame it on the republicans, when it was ****ing Obama's idea in the first place.

2. spending is still increasing, just not as much as it otherwise would have.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:07:08 PM PDT
Anthony says:
what really irritated me is when the news broke that the pentagon made no plans for the eventuality of the sequester taking place. that's just plain stupidity. and unacceptable considering they are supposed to be in charge of our national defense.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:07:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013, 12:09:01 PM PDT
Brykume says:
Responsible cutting is necessary, as are reasonable tax increases. We are still suffering from effects of the 2008 crash, and the subsequent recession.. and, like it or not, government expenditures are a huge driver of the economy... especially the medical and defense industries, which compromise 90% of federal spending.

Government funding is also the lifeblood of scientific research... which has been proven to be the greatest public investment in terms of ROI.

And, as others have stated... moving from one "debt-crisis" to the next is not a feasible approach to governing. And I hate to be partisan.. but it really is the house of representatives that will not compromise or negotiate. I don't particularly blame them, however.. as the constituents want them to fight that way. They don't want someone who compromises or negotiates. They want a fighter.. and the house republicans will all get primaried from the right flank. It's a tough situation.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:08:21 PM PDT
To me the worst part of it is, these are ALL cuts being made to lower income families. 800,000 employees are about to get a 20% pay cut, but what isn't being published is that I'd say at least 75% of those employes make less then $35,000 a year. This is going to have a much larger impact on the economy then people think. I'm sure around Christmas though everyone is going to be wondering why sales are down so much.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:08:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013, 12:10:11 PM PDT
Anthony says:
and yet almost none of that public investment is going towards repairing our infrastructure. imagine that.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:11:39 PM PDT
Brykume says:
The poor are getting crushed in this economy, and by government cuts in aid. The middle class is getting squeezed too. I don't see the suffering of the upper classes... maybe I'm blind to it, maybe I want to be blind to it... but I just don't see it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:11:46 PM PDT
And the Republican refuse to work on any budget unless its exactly what they want. They're on the record they refuse to compromise and want to make ridiculous cuts, while still leaving in loopholes that the ultra-rich use that cost the government BILLIONS in lost taxes.

I agree we can't raise taxes just because your rich. But a loophole means you're avoiding paying the taxes you should, there shouldn't even be a debate on whether those should be closed.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:11:58 PM PDT
Anthony says:
as opposed to the senate, which won't even let bills from the house be heard?

oh, and for those interested, i'm an independent. and an individualist.

the fault lies with both sides.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:14:05 PM PDT
Anthony says:
eh, i'm in favor of a flat tax. 10-15%. for everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:14:21 PM PDT
Yeah forgot about that, during the sequester it also will lower payments for government aid programs as well. The government letting this happen is going to really hurt the lower/middle class and we'll end up deepening the recession we're already in.

Personally I think it's embarrasing to me as an american and it should be embarrasing to our representatives that after 2 years of debate we basically still are acting like children and are going to let something like this happen.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:17:24 PM PDT
D_Strasse says:
Scientific research is an excellent example of where we should actually be spending public money. Unfortunately, scientists are a small group, not well organized and don't possess the political clout that a large union does. So yeah, to them goes the shaft.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:17:43 PM PDT
I agree there, sorry thought you were just one of those nutty anti-Obama people. Its both sides fault, and both of them are being total d-bags about the whole thing.

To me the only taxes we should raise on the rich are closing all the loopholes they use to avoid paying taxes. I mean its insane to me that there are some billionaires who pay nearly nothing in taxes because they take advantage of loopholes in the tax law. But the republicans refuse to even consider closing those.

The Democrats I think are spending too much on government aid. I agree we need to help people, but I agree with the Republicans cry to just cut Obamacare. I'm sorry, its a good idea, and its got great intention written all over it. But we simply can't afford it right now. Our debt is ridiculous and that program is going to sink us.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 12:19:59 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013, 5:36:12 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013, 12:20:00 PM PDT
Brykume says:
I agree that there's plenty of blame to pass around... but make the argument that they are equal. You're false equivacating. Obama and the democrats have agreed to and included many aspects of the conservative agenda. The ACA is essentially a conservative program from the 90s.

The republicans won't have $1 in tax increases, nor $1 in additional stimulous. Paul Ryan's latest budget is just additional cuts in taxing in spending.. they won't adopt any democratic ideas.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 12:20:11 PM PDT
ice grizzly says:
3.8 Trillion dollar budget. Obama has money to close a entire golf course for a week and play with Tiger woods. Just the cost of Fuel to fly him from DC to Florida and the motor cage costs 10's of million a year.

All the Sequestration cuts are bogus. There are tonnes of things that Senate and Preisdent can cut on their own budget to save 85 billion a year.

In 15 years the budget doubled

Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 12:23:07 PM PDT
No worries. People can still get cash back from their foodstamp card and buy cigs and alcohol.
You can't spend what you don't have unless you're the government.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  74
Initial post:  Mar 13, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 13, 2013

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