As everyone knows, when any US president takes the oath of office, he swears to "preserve, protect and defend" the USA. That promise can reasonably be construed to mean that a president is obligated to make sensible efforts, wherever possible, to minimize -- not enhance -- any "pain" experienced by law-abiding US citizens as he executes his duties.
How disgraceful, then, to note that the Obama administration is trying to implement the sequester's funding reductions in a way that will maximize problems for those he is sworn to serve. As reported in the Washington Times, officials in Washington sent an email to an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service denying him authorization he sought to lessen the sequester's impact. Washington officials emailed that:
We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.
In other words, the Obama administration's position is: We promised the sky would fall if the sequester happened. So don't do anything that will reduce its consequences -- even when it's possible.
The conduct of the Washington officials can be characterized in many (unflattering) ways. But it certainly doesn't suggest that anyone in charge is committed to "preserving" and "protecting" the American people when it's not in their political interests to do so.
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