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“The sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.” - President Obama, in the third presidential debate, Oct. 22, 2012
The Washington Post Fact Checker gave Obama four Pinocchios for the above whopper. It WAS the White House that proposed the sequester as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, and it was enacted into law. For those of you who don't know what the sequester is, it is a round of automatic spending cuts that will take place on March 1st if Congress doesn't act to implement it's own targeted spending cuts. True to form, Congress has not acted, which is why the sequester is looming. To be more specific, it is the Democrat-led Senate that has not acted. The Republican-led House has passed two bills to avoid the sequester. The Senate has become the place where budget proposals go to die. You're doing a heckuva job, Harry !!! Or not.
Most everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees that the sequester spending cuts would be a bad thing, including Obama. Now, Obama wants to "delay" (read: cancel) Obama's own sequester cuts, saying they would harm the economy. It makes one wonder why Obama wanted them included in the first place, if he had no intention of implementing them. My guess is that Obama thought it would sound good for his re-election bid (side note - we should officially designate 2012 as The Year Of The Nonstop Campaign Lie and use it as as public service announcement to remind people that honesty is a virtue. I consider the 2012 presidential campaign to be a new moral low for America. I've never heard so many lies in my life. The whole intent of it was to mislead and confuse people}.
On monday, Obama was supposed to have presented his budget proposal by law. He missed the deadline for the fourth time in five years. Ironically, on the same day Obama missed his budget deadline, he signed the 'no budget, no pay' act, which withholds pay from members of Congress if Congress doesn't pass it's own budget by the April 15th legal deadline. You can't make this stuff up. Nobody would believe it. But I do hope the prospect of losing his salary will light a fire under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Other than occasionally finding a microphone to mutter "it's the Republican's fault", Harry seems almost comatose.
Yesterday, Obama repeated his mantra that long-term deficit reduction measures must include spending cuts and increased tax revenue.
Um, didn't Obama just GET a bunch of new tax revenue in the fiscal cliff deal ? He sure did. In a recent post, I highlighted about 26 new tax increases Obama has passed since he became President. When is enough ever enough for this guy ? Never mind. The question is rhetorical. For a liberal like Obama, there is NEVER enough tax revenue. It's like Parkinson's Law ("work expands to fill the time available"). The liberal version of Parkinson's Law should be, "spending expands to fill the revenue available". And when spending exceeds revenue...get more revenue.
The House Republicans want Obama's budget proposal, whenever it comes, to balance within ten years, or if Obama can't manage that, to explain WHEN Obama's budget will ever balance. Good luck with that, Republicans. Don't hold your breath. The latest analysis of the Congressional Budget Office has the budget balancing NEVER. It has the deficit dropping until 2015 (to around $450-500 billion), and then going back up again, reaching $978 billion by 2023. And even that "rosy" CBO outlook assumes interest rates stay low, ObamaCare costs don't rise (despite massive evidence to the contrary), the economy grows steadily, unemployment drops, etc., etc. In other words, if everything goes wonderfully, we'll still have enormous annual deficits. If everything doesn't go wonderfully, well.....we can always implement another sequester measure and then ignore it.
To avoid the sequester cuts, Obama recommended the following:
"If they can't get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution"
This speaks to how broken our Congress has become. By March 1, 2013, Congress will have had one year and seven months since the passage of the Budget Control Act to get it's spending cuts in order. Senate Democrats have still passed NOTHING and have proposed NOTHING. Today on C-SPAN, I heard Republican after Republican practically begging the Senate Democrats to put forth their spending cut proposals. I heard Democrat after Democrat do nothing but blast the proposals the Republicans have already put forth. It didn't take me long to determine which side of the aisle is truly broken. For there to be any negotiations at all, there has to be something to negotiate WITH. The failure of the Democrats prohibits negotiations from even beginning. I believe the Democrats failure stems from the fact that they know something has to be done about entitlements (which represents 2/3rds of federal spending and nearly all of the future spending increases), but they can't bring themselves to do anything about it. They've banked their elections and re-elections on entitlement spending, so instead of coming up with realistic solutions, they lash out with emotional appeals. Nothing is accomplished, and sequestration draws closer. I sure hope that changes.
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