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Les mesures du mur budgétaire sont tombées


Plafond de la dette, fiscal cliff, ces deux difficultés avaient été surmontées non sans mal, les républicains ayant fait preuve d’une grande intransigeance et pratiquer la culture du non compromis. Mais cette fois, ils auront tenu jusqu’au bout leur attitude extrémiste et opposé un niet catégorique pour éviter le « sequester », autrement dit les coupes budgétaires automatiques, à la hache, sans aucune discernement. Une mesure aussi fine que le non remplacement d’un fonctionnaire sur deux que l’on avait connu en son temps.

Dans sa déclaration pour expliquer ce funeste résultat, Barack Obama a laissé le discours diplomatique aux vestiaires :

“…a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on, like education, and research, and infrastructure and defense.  It’s unnecessary.  And at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable

…we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.

… It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made (…) they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected”

On se souvient de la déclaration de Guy Mollet en 1956 qui expliquait avoir « affaire avec la droite la plus bête du monde ». On pourrait l’appliquer volontiers aux Républicains tant  ils se sont inflexibles et incapables de négocier avec les démocrates. On pourrait continuer en paraphrasant le Général de Gaulle en affirmant que la « politique des Etats-Unis ne devrait pas se faire au Congrès ». Etant donné ce comportement jusqu’auboutisme, les républicains devront sans doute payer l’addition aux prochaines élections midterm en 2014.

En attendant, les prochaines étapes sont fin mars pour le vote du budget et le mi-mai pour le relèvement du plafond de la dette.

Statement by the President on the Sequester
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  As you know, I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today.  I told them these cuts will hurt our economy.  They will cost us jobs.  And to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise.

The good news is the American people are strong and they’re resilient.  They fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and we will get through this as well.  Even with these cuts in place, folks all across this country will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery going.  But Washington sure isn’t making it easy.  At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction — hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America — we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on, like education, and research, and infrastructure and defense.  It’s unnecessary.  And at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable.

Now, what’s important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away.  The pain, though, will be real.  Beginning this week, many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways.  Businesses that work with the military, like the Virginia shipbuilder that I visited on Tuesday, may have to lay folks off.  Communities near military bases will take a serious blow.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country — Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work at the Pentagon — all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs.

All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy.  Layoffs and pay cuts means that people have less money in their pockets, and that means that they have less money to spend at local businesses.  That means lower profits.  That means fewer hires.  The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy — a slow grind that will intensify with each passing day.

So economists are estimating that as a consequence of this sequester, that we could see growth cut by over one-half of 1 percent.  It will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly.  So every time that we get a piece of economic news, over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.

And let’s be clear.  None of this is necessary.  It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made.  They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.  As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.

I do believe that we can and must replace these cuts with a more balanced approach that asks something from everybody:  Smart spending cuts; entitlement reform; tax reform that makes the tax code more fair for families and businesses without raising tax rates —  all so that we can responsibly lower the deficit without laying off workers, or forcing parents to scramble for childcare, or slashing financial aid for college students.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.  I don’t think that is partisan.  It’s the kind of approach that I’ve proposed for two years.  It’s what I ran on last year.  And the majority of the American people agree with me in this approach, including, by the way, a majority of Republicans.  We just need Republicans in Congress to catch up with their own party and their country on this.  And if they did so, we could make a lot of progress.

I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately, at least, say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through.  I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through.  So there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill.  It’s just — it’s a silent group right now, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard.

In the coming days and in the coming weeks I’m going to keep on reaching out to them, both individually and as groups of senators or members of the House, and say to them, let’s fix this — not just for a month or two, but for years to come.  Because the greatest nation on Earth does not conduct its business in month-to-month increments, or by careening from crisis to crisis.  And America has got a lot more work to do.

In the meantime, we can’t let political gridlock around the budget stand in the way of other areas where we can make progress.  I was pleased to see that the House passed the Violence Against Women Act yesterday.  That is a big win for not just women but for families and for the American people.  It’s a law that’s going to save lives and help more Americans live free from fear.  It’s something that we’ve been pushing on for a long time.  I was glad to see that done.  And it’s an example of how we can still get some important bipartisan legislation through this Congress even though there is still these fiscal arguments taking place.

And I think there are other areas where we can make progress even with the sequester unresolved.  I will continue to push for those initiatives.  I’m going to keep pushing for high-quality preschool for every family that wants it.  I’m going to keep pushing to make sure that we raise the minimum wage so that it’s one that families can live on.  I’m going to keep on pushing for immigration reform, and reform our voting system, and improvements on our transportation sector.  And I’m going to keep pushing for sensible gun reforms because I still think they deserve a vote.

This is the agenda that the American people voted for.  These are America’s priorities.  They are too important to go unaddressed.  And I’m going to keep pushing to make sure that we see them through.

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2 mars 2013 - Posted by | Général | , , ,

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