And make no mistake, if the sequester comes, with its thoroughly proper axe that forces politicians to do what they will not do on their own, this White House will punish us.
It will indeed cut things that protect Americans. Not because it has to, but because it wants to.
Barack Obama will tell the nation that the evil Republicans have done this to them. Those Republicans had better be ready, with examples of precise cuts that could have been made that would have endangered no one.
The administration’s craven tactics will have to be put right back into its face. We will need strong, energetic messengers to fan out across the media landscape to tell the nation just what this regime did to make voters think spending cuts cannot happen without danger or pain.
With respect, that means Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell will need to take a seat while Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and others of similar energies grab the American people by the lapels to deliver the first clue millions of them will get about the depth of our fiscal crisis and what it takes to get out of it.
So, to summarize:
The sequester is not to be feared, it is to be embraced. In fact, after the cuts take effect from this one, it would be nice to engineer another one. And another after that.
I’m through waiting for compromises that will never happen. Even if they did, they would be even more watered-down than the sequester cuts.
This whole drama cries out for context.
The first year of sequester cuts are about one-tenth of the $850 billion we flushed down the infamous stimulus toilet. Casting that money to the wind didn’t seem to bring these levels of panic from the media culture that now dutifully echoes Obama’s distaste for the sequester.
And for even further clarity, the roughly one trillion dollars in “cuts” over the next decade are measured against spending levels boosted by inflation forecasts and after exempted spending is factored back in, at totals actually higher than a trillion.
Yes, the argument can be made that these “cuts,” condemned as “brutal” by President Obama, may not in fact be cuts at all over the ten years to come.
Which brings us to the silliness of all of this sequester-mania. No one knows what will be happening in our nation’s budgets four years from now, or eight years from now, much less ten. Today’s cuts, real or imagined, can be deepened or obliterated by future whims.
So we must focus on what we know today.
We know today’s Washington is genetically incapable of even starting down the road of the spending cuts we need.
We know we have the gift of the sequester, which will cut some things we may not want cut, but provides the only hope of cutting countless other types of spending that must be reduced if we are to fiscally survive.
We know the Obama administration has now decided it hates the sequester. We also know this administration is hell-bent on destroying private wealth in order to build a European-style, neo-socialist society driven by obscene government spending that will turn us into Greece.
Case closed. Reach out for that March 1 deadline with confidence. The sequester is not without challenges, but it represents our first, best hope to take a few baby steps down the long, long road toward responsibility.