It’s one thing for a politician to “massage” the truth ... it happens all the time. But it’s quite another for one to so brazenly repeat an easily disprovable lie.
But, as in the case of President Obama and sequestration, when the fear of being caught in a lie is removed because those charged with being “watchdogs” are active participants, brazenly lying carries no more risk than saying “hello.”
Sequester, automatic across-the-board reductions in the rate of increase in government spending – commonly and lazily called “spending cuts” by the media – was the spawn of the Obama administration. You’d never know it to hear him talk about it. During the campaign the president lied repeatedly about the origin of this monster, but he was the Dr. Frankenstein here.
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, in a piece not posted to the Internet until a time generally reserved for incriminating government document dumps (5:59 pm Friday), reminded the world, “The automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors...”
The president approved the plan put forth by his employees and, in direct contrast to his current rhetoric, agreed to a deal with Republicans that “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.”
He has since won re-election, which apparently means any agreement made beforehand is not only no longer valid, but never happened. The media, too busy focusing on the important issues facing the country such as complaining about not getting a picture of the president with Tiger Woods, haven’t bothered to point out any of this.
Rather than the tough medicine President Obama created to begin, on a miniscule scale, addressing our ballooning government spending, he treats sequester as a Frankenstein’s monster birthed by Republicans. But, as Woodward reminds us, paternity lies firmly at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I’m not one who is concerned with sequestration. The federal government is spending $1 trillion more per year now than it did in 2008. That’s an astronomical increase in government in four years. The idea that shaving what amounts to a rounding error off the budget will bring about Armageddon is worthy of mockery. If, that is, we had an honest media doing the job it is supposed to do.
But we don’t have an honest media, and as such we have a president predicting things that make doomsday preppers seem like mellow pot smokers.
Should this slight slowing of the increase in future government spending come to pass, Obama told the world, “Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.”
In what seems more like a rejected flashback storyline for “The Walking Dead” TV show, the president of the United States wants the American people to believe a less than 2 percent “cut” in government spending, after increasing it by more than a third in four years, will bring about end times. Criminals will roam the countryside as unattended children consume rancid uninspected meats, airports become bumper-car worlds and everyone dies, uneducated, of cancer.
Yet Republicans in the House have passed two alternatives to across-the-board cuts, which are collecting dust in the Democrat-controlled Senate. If Democrats really want compromise they simply have to pass their own alternative and hammer out the differences in a conference committee, the way legislation is passed in Congress. But they haven’t, and they won’t.
Democrats, in spite of their panicked protestations, aren’t seeking a “deal;” they’re pre-emptively assigning blame.
The last quarter of 2012 saw the economy shrink .01 percent. If the economy shrinks again in the first quarter of 2013 we will officially be back in a recession. That would be the Obama recession. They can’t have that. The blame, that is, not the recession. That’s why we had the president on Al Sharpton’s radio show saying Republicans would rather harm the economy than “close loopholes” on the rich.
In an attempt to preemptively shift blame, we get the “We’re all gonna die if Republicans don’t stop being so uncooperative” press event we saw from the president last Tuesday.
But since Google exists, anyone – except, it seems, journalists – can find this quote from President Obama in 2011 on this very subject saying, “Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.”
If we were truly facing the Thunderdome-esque future he is now claiming, why would President Obama threaten to veto “ANY EFFORT” to replace the “meat cleaver” with a scalpel just 15 months ago?
The answer is obvious – he, as Bob Woodward pointed out, is lying.
There’s an old episode of The Simpsons where Bart becomes famous for causing a disaster on television then looking into the camera and saying, “I didn’t do it.” President Obama is employing this strategy with his economy and sequester. While the audience was in on the joke when Bart did it, we’re the butt of it now. And the throne-sniffing media is only too happy to help.