Barack Obama is warning America of the devastation that the sequester will visit upon the country, including
Furloughs of 800,000 civilian Pentagon employees;
Meat inspector furloughs from which food shortages will result;
Air Traffic Controller furloughs resulting in three-hour waits at airports to clear security;
Reductions in embassy protection and border patrols;
Cutting the Persian Gulf Naval presence from two aircraft carriers to one;
Diminished emergency services;
fewer police and firefighters on the streets;
Reduced military readiness;
Criminals going free because federal prosecutors will have to close cases;
Thousands of teacher and educator layoffs
Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids;
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings; and
Job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.
And soon we’re likely to hear that global warming will accelerate and comets will strike the Earth if Republicans don’t acquiesce to Obama’s demands for more taxes. He has hinted that planes will fall from the sky:
“Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country,” Obama continued. “Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.”
How much is to be “cut”? $85 billion on a budget of $3.6 trillion. That’s 2.4%. As of August household income was down 8.2% under Obama and the country had to make do. Now Obama tries to tell us that government can’t do with 2.4% less? Seriously?
He has been lying about the sequester since the debates. The sequester was Obama’s team’s idea:
Page 326 (July 26):
At 2:30 p.m., [White House Budget director Jack] Lew and [White House legislative affairs director Rob] Nabors went to the Senate to meet with [Senator Majority Leader Harry] Reid and his chief of staff, David Krone.
“We have an idea for a trigger,” Lew said.
“What’s the idea,” Reid asked skeptically.
Reid bent down and put his head between his knees, almost as if he was going to throw up or was having a heart attack. He sat back up and looked at the ceiling. “A couple of weeks ago,” he said, “my staff said to me that there is one more possible” enforcement mechanism: sequestration. He said he told them, “Get the hell out of here. That’s insane. The White House surely will come up with a plan that will save the day. And you come to me with sequestration?”
Well, it could work, Lew and Nabors explained.
What would the impact be?
They would design it so that half the threatened cuts would be from the Defense Department….The idea was to make all of the threatened cuts so unthinkable and onerous that the supercommittee [tasked with making additional cuts] would do its work and come up with its own deficit reduction plan.
Lew and Nabors went through a laundry list of programs that would face cuts.
“This is ridiculous,” Reid said.
That’s the beauty of a sequester, they said, it’s so ridiculous that no one ever wants it to happen. It was the bomb that no one wanted to drop. It actually would be an action-forcing event.
“I get it,” Reid said finally.
Short version: Once tax increases were off the table, the White House staff came up with a sequestration plan that only had spending cuts and sold Harry Reid on the idea.
And since then, Obama continues to double down on the threats of damage the sequester will cause.
President Barack Obama issued a stark warning on Saturday that the looming sequestration budget cuts will have a devastating impact on the American economy and even threaten national security.
Obama used his weekly address to make a blunt and pointed speech, pinning the blame for the situation squarely at the doors of Republicans in Congress, whom he said were refusing to compromise on the issue of taxing the wealthy and so scuppering any chance of a deal to avoid potential disaster.
“[The cuts] will slow our economy. They will eliminate good jobs. They will leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure out what to do,” Obama said.
Cuts to defence and social programmes totalling $85bn are set to hit almost every part of the US government, from national parks to the military to schools and the transportation system. They were put in place after 2011’s row over raising the budget ceiling, in an attempt to force lawmakers to find a less onerous ways to reduce deficits and stabilize the national debt. Both sides failed to find an alternative, however, leaving the cuts to kick in at the end of next week.
Obama has said over and over that that Republicans are to blame for their refusal to “compromise” on raising more taxes.
But Republicans did agree to a tax increase of $600 billion.
WASHINGTON — The Senate, in a predawn vote two hours after the deadline passed to avert automatic tax increases, overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday that would allow tax rates to rise only on affluent Americans while temporarily suspending sweeping, across-the-board spending cuts.
Back in 2011 Obama and John Boehner had a grand bargain in hand when Obama reneged on the deal and demanded more in tax increases than the $800 billion to which Boehner agreed.
Mr. Boehner tells Mr. Woodward, “He was spewing coals.” This is what Mr. Boehner said he told the president: “I’d put revenue on there if we had real changes in entitlement programs. Every time we get there, you and I agree; all of a sudden you guys keep backing up, backing up, backing up. And now you call me and you want more revenue. It ain’t going to happen. I’m done with it.”
And we learn from Bob Woodward that once again Obama reneges on another done deal:
In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.
So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.
For all the tough talk, Obama is afraid. He is afraid that the sequester will come to pass and no one will notice. He is frightened to death that America will learn that the government can do with 2.4% less, because then America will begin to wonder with just how much less government can do.