In 1983 the payroll taxes for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid went up to build savings ("trust" funds) for when Baby Boomers begin to retire. The money in those trust funds was all borrowed to pay for other US government endeavors.
Democrats in the US Congress apparently assumed that the funds would be repaid when needed, blatantly disregarding the fact that the Republicans (R) might solve that rather massive debt by doing, with these social programs, what they have always wanted to do: cancel them!
Recently a legislative impasse was solved by using a measure that Democrats thought to be so bad that it would never be allowed to stand as is...
The Sequester was precisely the kind of federal budget austerity the R were looking to do; hoping to blame the resulting double dip recession (like the Euro zone economy is doing) on the Obama administration!
We Democrats need to do a little reality check!!! The R, currently, are beholden to the really far right, wing-nut, branch of their party and these things, that those who were moderate R (like me) would probably not do, are being done.
We Democrats need to be more cognitive, lest we be caught napping; again and again!!!