In 2006, then Senator Barack Obama’s memoir, “The Audacity of Hope” was a bestseller. Perhaps now-President Obama should release a new book, recounting his masterful demagoguing of the sequestration debate. He could title it, “The Audacity of Deceit”!
What can one say about a President who first proposes and signs into law an across the board spending cut proposal, called sequestration, to be triggered only if the Congressional Supercommittee could not reach agreement on necessary spending cuts; and then, when his proposal becomes reality, not only denies he had any part in its creation but blames it on the Republicans, using it as a club to beat them with?
His admirers call it political genius. I call it demagogic chutzpah.
As Bob Woodward (aka, White House Public Enemy Number One) clearly documented in his reporting on the issue, the proposal for “draconian” sequestration cuts to the grossly bloated Federal budget originated in the White House; not among the Republicans, as Obama now would have the ill-informed believe.
What makes this particularly audacious is that the President who now decries the severe effect these cuts will likely have is the same man who in November derailed GOP attempts to get rid of the sequester by threatening to veto any such bill if it came to his desk.
“There will be no easy off-ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” the president said on November 21, 2012.
There was, of course, no “compromise” offered by either the President or the Democrats in the Senate. A compromise means giving the other guy some of what he wants, so that you can get some (but not all) of what you want. The Dems demanded to have it all their own way, with additional tax raises with none of the (necessary) spending cuts Republicans were expecting. (Expecting, because after they gave in to the President’s demands for tax raises at the end of the “Fiscal Cliff” debate they were led to believe the President was serious about compromise and a “balanced approached”; and the that now it was the Democrats turn to give in on spending cuts.)
Are we to believe that having forced the sequester cuts to become reality by threatening to veto any measure that would have stopped the sequester, Obama now has no culpability in its effects?
Now that the sequestration has gone through, the President and his people rush to the “bully pulpit” to decry the very mechanism he put in place. Worse, they paint a totally false picture of just how severe the effects of such cuts really will be.
If these are what modern America calls ”draconian”, then long-dead Draco must be shaking his head in disgust within his now-lost grave!
These cuts represent a reduction of about one week’s spending by the Federal government. Yes, that’s right: a single week. These “draconian” reductions are only about 2-3 percent of the budget; spread over 10 years! If the fat-laden Federal budget can’t be reduced by a miserly 3%, and that cut only to proposed growth (the dirty-little-poorly-kept secret is that this is only a cut to the growth in spending, not to the actual budget itself; the Federal budget and our National Debt will still continue to balloon)… Well, ladies and gentleman, turn out the lights now: we are truly doomed to bankruptcy.
In the face of dire “the sky is falling” predictions by the President and spokespersons for his Administration, Republicans in Congress offered a bill that would give the President complete authority to take the spending cuts out of the “fat” in the budget (such as “team building” vacations by highly paid bureaucrats to places like Hawaii at the tax payer’s expense); instead of to vital or popular services (such as White House tours).
What was Obama’s response?
Not just no, but HELL NO! Again, the President threatened to veto such authority if Congress tried to give it to him.
No way the President wanted the buck to stop at his desk! That would have made blaming the Republicans in Congress all the harder.
But I digress.
That Obama can describe the horrors of sequestration with a straight face is laughable. Especially as now, after the event has come to pass, we see report-after-report contradicting the dire warnings of the Administration.
Long lines at the airports? Nope, not happening. Airports are reporting wait-time at normal, pre-sequestration rates.
Teachers being furloughed? This claim is especially deceitful on the face of it: teachers (like policemen, firemen, and other First Responders) are not Federal workers. They are not paid from nor affected by (in any significant way) reductions to the Federal budget!
But truth has always been fungible to this President; who relies on a gullible public not to catch such subtleties, and a lap-dog press who won’t hold him accountable for such dishonesty.
What is really going on here is like Lucy and Charlie Brown: Lucy (Obama) holds the football for Charlie Brown to kick. Trusting fool, he once again falls for it; running forward to kick the ball. Once again, as always, Lucy pulls the ball back at the last minute; and Charlie Brown ends up falling on his ass!
When they accepted the President’s sequestration proposal, the Republicans once again fell for it. They forgot that they are dealing with a master of deceit.
A demagogue of breathtaking audacity.