American Elephants

An Embarrassing White House Flashback by The Elephant's Child

“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No, I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.”

Obama’s Shameful Posturing on the Sequester by The Elephant's Child

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Obama’s political posturing— the permanent campaign—reached a new plateau in sheer dishonesty today. Remarks this morning in the South Court Auditorium:

As I said in my State of the Union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good, middle-class jobs.  That’s our top priority.  That’s our North Star.  That drives every decision we make.  And it has to drive every decision that Congress and everybody in Washington makes over the next several years.

And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite.  It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

The “series of automatic, severe budget cuts” were Obama’s idea, intended to trap Republicans into agreeing to higher taxes so he can spend more money. His theory was that Republicans would be so resistant to automatic cuts to the defense budget, that we would give him what he wants. His idea. His trap. Didn’t work. He went on:

Here’s what’s at stake.  Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion.  More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts.  The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.  And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

I’m sure that you are as astounded as I am to recognize that the President is just mistaken about that $2.5 trillion. He got that number by claiming that when he didn’t ask for the $8 trillion he was going to ask for, he decided to ask for 2.5 trillion less, so he considered that a “cut.” Nope.  Doesn’t work. No cut there at all. But like everything else, this is not Obama’s fault. Nothing ever is. It’s Congress.

Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise. They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.

He’s good at this. “Brutal.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in its February 2013 report on the budget outlook: “Discretionary outlays will drop by $35 billion and mandatory spending will be reduced by $9 billion this year as a direct result of those procedures (sequestration); additional reductions in outlays attributable to the cuts in 2013 will occur in later  years.” Not $85 billion, only $35 billion. In Washington that’s just chump change. in discretionary spending. And $9 Billion in mandatory spending.

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded.  Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced.  FBI agents will be furloughed.  Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.  Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.  Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf.  And as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this — not well thought through, not phased in properly — changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world.

Closed National Parks across the country, food shortages, teachers laid off (since when does the federal government pay teacher’s salaries?), senior citizens, police officers, small business owners, suffering across the land, all for $35 billion. Amazing hubris. Obama will say anything, anything at all to get his way.

He did talk about jobs in his State of the Union speech— a lot. He did not talk about growth. He could start massive hiring, create all sorts of new jobs, help the economy to grow if he actually wanted to. We know how many jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would provide directly and have seen estimates of the related jobs in the economy. There are dozens of ways he could, if he wanted to, turn the economy around and create all sorts of jobs. But he won’t, because he needs the approval of his radical green supporters, and they are still pushing a nonexistent global warming/climate change/ anti fossil-fuel foolish agenda.

Do read this whole short speech. It is absolutely shameless. He wants more tax revenue to waste on stuff, just — stuff.  Payback for his supporters and bundlers with taxpayer money. Crooked Chicago politics.

His aim is to rouse up his low-information voters to give him a Democratic House of Representatives in 2014, so he can finish installing his radical agenda for “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” On the basis of his transformative efforts so far, we have nothing to look forward to but more despair.

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