WASHINGTON - President Obama's bogus promises, predictions and claims are legendary, but perhaps you've forgotten his "sky is falling" forecast about the $85 billion budget sequester.
Last February, as Congress's automatic budget cuts began chipping away at the government's out-of-control spending levels, Obama went hyperbolic. The spending cuts would deal a "huge blow... to our economy as a whole" and "all our economic progress could be at risk."
In a string of speeches, the president played his fear card again. Air traffic control operations were being put at risk. Cancer research projects would be halted. Your food safety was in jeopardy.
The White House was put on a full, scare-them-to-death alert to frighten Americans into thinking the sequestered cuts would doom economic growth and destroy the very foundations of our economy.
Alan Krueger, who chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers at the time, said the sequesters would slash 750,000 by year's end.
Democratic Leader Harry Reid went on the Senate floor to claim that "We have learned that the sequestration has cut 1.6 million jobs." The Washington Post's combination fact checker and lie detector, Glenn Kessler, awarded Reid his highest score for
dishonesty: four Pinocchios.
Well, it turned out that Obama's economic fear rhetoric was no more truthful than when he promised Americans, "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it."
The sequester cuts didn't hurt our economy, they helped it. Wiser voices who said the budget reductions would be a net plus for the economy were of course right.
As the sequester was doing its work throughout 2013, budget watchers and economic analysts pointed out that the number of jobs being created didn't decline, they grew. Nowhere near the number needed to bring unemployment down to normal levels, but they did move in the opposite direction that Obama and his fellow fear-mongers were predicting.
"The economy added about 1 million new jobs over the period during which the sequester was supposed to cost 750,000 jobs (or 1.6 million, if you believed Harry Reid," Tom Giovanetti, economic analyst at the Institute for Policy Innovation, wrote late last year.
"In fact, Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker observed that private sector job growth has more than compensated for public sector job losses, which means the effort that formally went toward hobbling the private sector is now being productively put to work in the private sector," Giovanetti added.
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