Standing before a staged backdrop of firefighters and other emergency personnel, Obama predicted doom, gloom and sky falling catastrophe if Congress allows the sequestration his White House designed to actually occur 10 days from now:
“Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. …
“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. …
“So these cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls. This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again.”
In the speech this morning, he also repeated the laughable claim that deficits have already been cut $2.5 trillion and we are half way to a goal of a $4 trillion deficit reduction. Of course that requires some voodoo math to arrive at those figures.
The bottom line is that on the day Obama was inaugurated the federal debt was $10.6 trillion. As of this past week, it was $16.5 trillion.
But somehow the sequestration’s automatic cut of $85 billion — a rounding error in federal spending as many call it, since the federal government spends $10.5 billion a day — will portend death, destruction and brimstone.
Never mind that he recently signed off on $61 billion in federal relief for Hurricane Sandy without so much as blinking an eye.
And while he wailed about “tax loopholes and deductions for the well off,” he also signed the fiscal cliff deal that contained nearly $70 billion in tax breaks and loopholes for wind turbines, Nascar, asparagus growers, Hollywood producers and the makers of electric scooters. That deal also cut the sequestration figure from $109 billion to $85 billion.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.