Thursday, February 28, 2013
Sequestration: Obama's Abandoned Baby
Sequestration: Obama’s Abandoned Baby
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 28, 2013
There’s the old adage that there’s lies, damn lies, and statistics. Fast forward to the Obama administration and the issue of sequestration, where there are lies, Obama speeches, and a complicit media that swears to it.
A media that takes Obama’s words at face value without questioning fails to do its job. A media that does not question when Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says the administration does not have a spending problem. A media that does not question Obama becomes complacent and a wing of the administration.
This is an administration that, in 2011, called for this sequestration that strikes at midnight March 1. This is a sequestration automatically cutting a mere $85 billion dollars from a $3.8 trillion budget, and only $44 billion of which is slated for this year’s budget. FYI, that amounts to a paltry 2.4 percent cut in the deficit when Obama vowed to slash the deficit by 50 percent in his first term alone, proving his sheer incompetence, or his overblown ego.
As Charles Krauthammer, a regular on the Fox News Channel explained, of the 35 cents per dollar borrowed from China, under sequestration the US will “only” borrow 33 cents from the Chinese. What the nation has here is a decrease in the increase – meaning, the administration will spend $14-16 billion MORE than what was spent in 2012, as opposed to spending $60-70 billion more than in 2012.
Yet according to Obama, author of this plan, economic Armageddon is soon to follow. Obama has traipsed around the nation – all at taxpayers’ expense – like Chicken Little squawking how the sky is falling and it’s all because of the awful Republicans. (I’ll deal with the GOP’s role in this charade shortly.) Most recently, Obama visited Newport News, VA to berate the Republicans, at a cost of more than a half million dollars when he could have stayed in DC and done so for pennies.
But instead, Obama likes to take his show on the road as the United States continues to emulate the decline of the Roman Empire via its Bread and Circuses during the first two centuries C.E. For an excellent column on Bread and Circuses, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-02/the-danger-of-living-on-bread-and-circuses-alice-schroeder.html
While bloviating to anyone who will listen, Obama, the fear mongerer in chief, said these automatic cuts will see shortages in border patrol agents, teachers and day care workers being laid off, air traffic controllers laid off with a concomitant delay in air travel requiring passengers to arrive up to four hours prior to domestic flights, research on cancer and Alzheimer’s will be cut, meat inspectors will be reduced to the point of making meat unsafe, as well as cuts in the military.
“This is a manufactured crisis,” said US Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
Even Democratic Senator Max Baucus (MT) blames the White House and reporter Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, has been castigated by both the White House and the left wing media for his “revelation” that Obama is the impetus behind sequestration. Make no mistake, Woodward is no conservative, but he is an honest broker – something most members of the liberal media should emulate.
And yet, Obama continues his “excellent adventure” decrying the sequestration calling the cuts wrong, not fair, not right, even though he called for them, now saying he can’t stop the runaway train. Obama “signed it into law and complains about it,” said Gowdy.
Complaints also come from Obama supporters such as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who said “border patrol agents will see their hours reduced.”
“Sequestration equals unemployment,” said Pelosi.
“These automatic spending cuts will be devastating to the American economy,” said US Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).
“FBI agents will be furloughed,” and “federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go,” continued Obama, in his efforts to panic Americans and blame the GOP.
The problem with the Republicans is that they are shirking their responsibilities by hiding under their collective desks refusing to make appropriate cuts to the budget and deficit instead of allowing the mandatory cuts via sequester to take effect including cuts to military spending. Legitimate cuts need to be made and not with a scalpel, but with a hatchet. The GOP needs to garner the intestinal fortitude to tell the American people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, make the cuts that are in the best interest of the nation and future generations as opposed to the best interest of their reelection coffers and efforts to retain their cushy-tushy jobs.
“You should be able to find $85 billion in the ashtray of your car with a budget of this size,” said Gowdy.
Regarding the potential release of criminals, roughly 10,000 illegals were reported to be marked for release, even before sequestration goes into effect, demonstrative of pure political posturing by Obama and worse yet, a punishment inflicted upon the American people, mostly in Arizona. No doubt Arizona suffered the slings and arrows of Obama due to his animus toward Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) who deigned to stand up to Obama on a visit to the Grand Canyon State a couple years ago.
“It’s wrong, and it’s outrageous and it is appalling to do something of this magnitude and not contact myself or my homeland security people, is just unbelievable,” said Brewer, who represents a border state, on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
Obama’s behavior is simply vindictive and juvenile, but could cost lives with his churlish actions. As it is, the nation wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of sequestration if the Senate could manage to pass a budget.
“The last time the Senate passed a budget, four years ago, the i-pad didn’t exist,” said Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).
But not all members of the Senate are as concerned about a budget, the ramifications of sequestration or the overall fiscal health of the United States. “I am not going to keep cutting the discretionary budget, which by the way, is not out of control despite what you hear on Fox News,” said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on the Senate floor February 1.
While the deficit fast approaches $17 trillion and will reach $20 trillion before Obama checks out of the White House on January 20, 2017, a date that can’t arrive soon enough, Medicaid expenditures have risen by 37 percent over the last three years. “Food-stamp spending, which more than doubled in four years to a record in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s biggest annual expense.” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/food-stamp-use-climbed-to-record-46-7-million-in-june-u-s-says.html)
Our debt is a bigger enemy than any foreign force, as by 2020 the interest on the debt to China could approach funding their military.
I refer people back to the Bread and Circuses analogy, reminding them that although Obama has a favorable rating of 60 percent, no doubt from the Occupy Wall Street crowd demanding government support from womb to tomb, America burns while Obama fiddles.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.