The sequester — the $85 billion in spending cuts that Congress and President Obama delayed at the start of the year — is set to take effect on March 1. The cuts are split between defense and domestic programs, and will slice into Medicare, work assistance, police departments and many other government programs. We talk to experts about the sequester’s effects — both nationally and here in California.

David Leonhardt, Washington D.C. bureau chief for The New York Times and author of "Here's the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth"
Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy
Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy and former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy in the Reagan administration
Lenore Anderson, director of Californians for Safety and Justice
Gary Falle, associate vice president for federal governmental relations at the University of California

  • loujudson

    Looks like a great panel! I’d like to hear them address this thought – that is is all a grandstanding type boondoggle to make the parties look as stupid as they have been acting. When will we get a government that governs instead of bickering like 3 year old children?

    • Wilbur

      The bickering is a sham. They’re governing all right — it’s just that they’re doing it on behalf of the 1% and the corporations, whom they consider their real constituents.

    • Guest

      I don’t hear any bickering at all. I hear two parties who are no longer on speaking terms. It is entirely too quiet.

  • Wilbur

    On NPR the other day, they had Bill Moyers interviewing Richard Wolff, who revealed that not only did US taxpayers bail out the big banks and get shafted as far as foreclosures and increased lending goes, but it turns out the banks also shifted the bailout funds offshore so they didn’t have to pay taxes on them. It is fair to ask, is there even a banker in existence who is not a psychopath? Meanwhile we the taxpayers have to endure austerity due to their mostly unprosecuted criminal activities… This system is broken, our country is broke, and austerity will not fix anything.

  • NoahArroyo

    San Francisco listeners need an SF-specific sequestration breakdown.

    Whether host, guest, or caller: someone who knows this, please talk about it tomorrow. Nobody else is.

  • NoahArroyo

    How will sequestration specifically affect San Francisco? No one’s talking about this.

  • Bob Fry

    $85 billion out of annual spending of what, $2-$3 trillion these days? That’s less than a 5% “cut”, at worse. And how much of this “cut” is actually a decrease in the planned *increase* that was desired? This whole sequester thing is a tempest in a teapot. The Pentagon by itself could trivially absorb the cut by dropping the hugely wasteful F-35 program and the strategic bombers, a hangover from the Cold War.

  • Kathleen31

    STOP buying into the Republicans’ framing of the issue! Closing loopholes and reforming the system just like Romney/Ryan wanted is NOT raising taxes. The Republicans are just claiming that so they can justify their hostage-taking and intransigence. Don’t concede that as if it is a legitimate point.

  • Guest

    Welcome to the brave new world of the Libertarian party. You want smaller government? Federal government is bloated and over regulated? Let’s just think of the sequester as an experiment in libertarian policy compliments of the Tea Party which is essentially a Libertarian insurgency into the Republican Party. Enjoy!

  • Daniela

    Shame on the NYT reporter! The US spends more on the military than every other country combined. There is billions in waste! Just look at the F-22. What a simplistic and pathetic analysis!

  • Chris OConnell

    Frank Gaffney is showing the virtues of the sequester.

  • Guest

    Somebody please ask the guest for the SOURCE of his claim that DoD “outlays” account for only 20% of federal spending.

    • Guest

      …and thank you for airing the clarification of this point re: discretionary spending statistics at the end of this program.

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