Regardless of what we would like to believe, not all Democrats are delusional, though listening to our president’s latest Saturday address should raise our suspicions. Barack Obama is ramping up his absurdist take on sequestration cuts as if constantly repeating “balanced approach” will make us believe that a bigger tax haul means we can spend less. Is our president having a little fun at our expense, or is all the uproar about halting the sequester really about something he would rather not call too much attention to, like keeping government workers fat and happy?
When did sequestration cuts stop being a win for Obama?
It speaks to the incredible hubris of our president that he refuses to share responsibility for sequestration after the White House referred to the federal debt deal as “A Win for the Economy and Budget Discipline.”¹ Wasn’t the threat of sequestration cuts one of the reasons our president called the budget plan a “victory for bipartisan compromise”?²
Now that the predictable has happened and federal workers and services are threatened (see: Campaign for More Tax Revenue Turns Anti-American), Mr. Obama has changed his tune:
It was a bad idea then. And as the country saw this week, it’s a bad idea now.³
Talk about duplicity. When Mr. Obama says its “time to replace the sequester”4 what he’s really saying is give me what I want and I’ll make the pain go away. The president can argue all he wants that the sequester was never supposed to be used. Neither are nuclear weapons, but like the automatic cuts we keep them in our back pocket in case we have no choice. Given the outcry, you would have thought that the public sector was under atomic siege.
You can hurt taxpayers but don’t touch government workers.
Remember what happened when unionized FAA workers ran afoul of Ronald Reagan in 1981? Did we forget big labor’s involvement with our government workforce? 956,000 federal workers belonged to labor unions in 2012 and over 1 million were represented by unions.5
When our incredibly politicized Department of Labor sent out notices about the furlough of some of the federal workers impacted by cutbacks there was little doubt over whose deficit reduction plan was the party favorite:
As you are likely aware, due to the failure of Congress to reach a deal on balanced deficit reduction to avoid sequestration, the President on March 1 was required by law to issue a sequestration order …6
It’s hard to run a big government without lots of employees. If they belong to labor unions, furloughing or firing government workers makes their unions angry. If the Department of Labor has time to promote the White House balanced approach to raising taxes, perhaps we can dump a little headcount there and shift the money to the FAA.
Can $85 billion sink our land of plenty?
Considering the size of the deficit and our vast public debt, $85 billion in sequestration cuts should elicit little more than a yawn and certainly not the weeping and moaning coming from Democrats and the Obama administration.
Yesterday’s Republican address thanked Americans for making sure our voice was heard about the FAA furloughs:
The pressure worked, and again we’ve seen that when the people speak out, government has an obligation to listen.7
The issue isn’t forcing the government to listen. If the government listened the Budget Control Act would never have been necessary. The issue is the culpability of a president who shamelessly double crossed the American people by denying involvement in the sequester while putting his big government designs ahead of the ongoing debt crisis. This is all prelude. The real battle over spending has scarcely begun and the White House fully intends to win.