Remember when President Obama was flying around the country this year, warning that the budget-cutting sequester would destroy life as we know it in America?
The President was hyperbolic about it, preaching doom and gloom across the land if we didn't turn away from the disastrous path Congress put us on. And Obama, too. He signed the bill that would send us over the sequester cliff if a new budget wasn't approved.
The Pentagon wouldn't be able to pay its bills, he said. Federal food assistance would be denied to 600,000 low income women and children. Teachers would be laid off.
The cuts came, but the sky didn't fall. The sun came up the next day, the government didn't shut down, the stock market soared, and the deficit even declined (but more on that later).
The Washington Post acknowledged what happened in a front page story last week under the headline that read: "Budget cuts, but no chaos," followed by a subhead that declared, "Sequester Milder Than Forecast."
We know now that Obama was peddling fear, a game he's good at and that he successfully parlayed in his 2012 reelection campaign. He thought it would work again this year, but fear-mongering isn't a policy, and the American people know a shell game when they see one.
The Post's story about Obama's false, and let's face it, downright dishonest scare tactics, didn't mince words.
After checking into the President's gloomiest predictions, it found that "none of these things happened."
"Sequestration did hit, on March 1. And since then, the $85 billion budget cut has caused real reductions in many federal programs that people depend on. But it has not produced what the Obama administration predicted: widespread breakdowns in crucial government services."
There are good reasons why Obama's preposterous claims were not going to happen.
Federal spending under Obama is approaching nearly $4 trillion a year, and $85 billion in cuts -- a tiny fraction of that -- spread across the vast expanse of the government wasn't going to seriously reduce what the feds spend each year.
Before sequestration took effect, Congress passed and Obama signed a bill that gave departments more wiggle room to shift funds from low priority programs to higher priority ones.
And let's not ignore the government's insatiable ability to increase its revenue through higher taxation. There was the 2 percentage point increase in the payroll tax, and the President's new 40 percent tax rate on wealthy Americans and on capital gains income that Obama demanded as part of the deal.
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