Hostages to sequestration
There’s nothing really new about Barack Obama’s anti-sequestration crusade, as summarized by Fox News:
The president spoke Tuesday at the White House, urging Congress to come up with a short-term fix to cancel sweeping cuts to defense and other programs set to hit March 1.
“These cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls,” Obama said. “This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs.”
The president ticked off a host of expected repercussions should the $85 billion in cuts for this year take effect. He said Border Patrol, emergency responders, FBI agents, airport controllers and others would all face cutbacks. He said teachers would be laid off by the thousands and America’s military would be degraded.
This is the same thing he always does. It really should be a fixture in late-night comedy routines by now. Propose a single dollar of spending cuts, and suddenly Obama has a row of firefighters lined up to receive their pink slips – as if more than a small fraction of his bloated spending has anything to do with the vital services a limited government should provide. You might recall that during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, Obama was openly threatening to stop Social Security checks if he wasn’t allowed to rack up more debt.
This President often lapses into the rhetoric of terrorist “hostage-taking” to whine about his opponents, but it’s the most massive case of psychological “projection” in the world. Spending cuts are never about food stamp cards pulling millions in cash from ATMs at strip clubs, or billions of dollars in “free” cell-phone fraud, or federally-funded robot squirrels, or green energy giveaways. It’s always cops, firemen, and teachers marched onto the trap door, the instant Obama is told he has to stop spending money.
The American people should be sick to death of this. Obama delivers a more damning indictment of his ideology than most Republican politicians have been able to manage lately. He’s saying that if his $3.6 trillion government is forced to shave 3 percent off spending – after years of far more than 3 percent annual growth – it will become instantly incapable of providing the most basic services. His ideology is like something out of an editorial cartoon from a 90s conservative magazine.
And somehow the media is willing to sit silently while Obama postures as if sequestration wasn’t his idea! Is this more of that hypnotic power media liberals have been whining about lately? Has Obama used his fearsome telepathic gifts to strike them dumb, preventing them from reminding America that Obama’s budget director Jack Lew – who is now his nominee for Treasury Secretary – pitched sequestration to Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who described the idea as “insane?” Shouldn’t the press be reminding Americans of Obama’s many broken promises for spending cuts, which he often talks about but never actually produces? Would it be impossibly difficult to run through the Democrats’ role in the failure of the so-called Super Committee, which triggered the current sequestration crisis? Is it really so difficult to rein in Obama’s crazy fantasy rhetoric just a tiny little bit, and keep the facts straight?
Suddenly Obama is talking about sucking more revenue from the private sector by closing “tax loopholes” – an idea he derided as sheer lunacy when Republicans proposed it, just two months ago. Remember that, America? Republicans proposed bringing in more revenue by simplifying the tax code and eliminating some deductions, rather than raising tax rates. White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed this proposal as “magic beans and fairy dust.” But now that Obama’s got tax rate increases in his pocket, it’s time to break out the magic beans. As long as the government gets larger and the private sector grows smaller, it’s all good. Some of the “loopholes” Obama wants to close would drive his agonizing gas prices even higher. He might even get the $9 or $10 gas his Energy Secretary used to daydream about. That ought to do wonders for his weak, high-unemployment economy.
The new wrinkle this time is that Alan Simpson, the Republican half of Obama’s great bipartisan blue-ribbon deficit-cutting commission of 2009, is warning that Obama “will have a failed presidency” if he doesn’t deal “honestly” with entitlement reform. Entitlement reform! As if a President who can’t handle trimming 3 percent off discretionary spending, without trying to frighten citizens into thinking their houses will burn down, could deal honestly with FDR and LBJ’s massive engines of fiscal destruction!
Simpson and his old Deficit Commission partner, Democrat Erskine Bowles, are touting their own plan to replace sequestration with $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, a quarter of it coming from increased tax revenue via eliminated deductions. That’ll leave us with a tidy national debt of about $22 trillion in 2023. We’ll have reduced federal overspending to a trim 150 percent of George Bush’s fat deficits, which were denounced as the height of irresponsibility back in the day… and we won’t be accumulating any of that fresh debt fighting expensive wars. Wait, let me rephrase that: we won’t be planning to pile up any of that debt fighting wars. What happens if we have to deal with a war, too?
We’re not ready for such challenges if we’re maxing the national credit cards just to finance dependency programs and crony capitalist payoffs. There is no possible way to view a government that finds it necessary to threaten first-responder services due to a 3 percent spending cut as “healthy.”
Update: Here’s a nice little video montage of Obama absolutely demanding sequestration, courtesy of the Washington Examiner: