Obama’s weekly radio address today:
Doom and gloom is just around the corner. Oceans will rise. Planets will fly out of their orbits, if Congress allows the sequester to take place. Children and senior citizens will be fighting over scraps of garbage in the streets.
This I know for Obama tells me so:
“If the sequester is allowed to go forward, thousands of Americans who work in fields like national security, education or clean energy are likely to be laid off. Firefighters and food inspectors could also find themselves out of work – leaving our communities vulnerable. Programs like Head Start would be cut, and lifesaving research into diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s could be scaled back. Small businesses could be prevented from getting the resources and support they need to keep their doors open. People with disabilities who are waiting for their benefits could be forced to wait even longer. All our economic progress could be put at risk. …
“Right now, most Members of Congress – including many Republicans – don’t think it’s a good idea to put thousands of jobs at risk and do unnecessary damage to our economy. And yet the current Republican plan puts the burden of avoiding those cuts mainly on seniors and middle-class families. They would rather ask more from the vast majority of Americans and put our recovery at risk than close even a single tax loophole that benefits the wealthy.”
Never mind that clean energy and Head Start have been multibillion-dollar black holes, let’s see just how big those drastic cuts really are.
Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has crunched the numbers in that recent CBO report and comes up with a chart that illustrates the depths and breadth of the cuts over the next decade:
After the dreaded sequestration, the federal government expands by $2.4 trillion instead of $2.5 trillion.
Mitchell calls everything Obama says about the consequences of sequestration “utter bunk,” and concludes, “So let’s not just have a sequester. Let’s joyfully embrace it.
As for damaging the economy, The Wall Street Journal recently stated in an editorial titled “The Unscary Sequester” that:
“The most disingenuous White House claim is that the sequester will hurt the economy. Reality check: The cuts amount to about 0.5% of GDP. The theory that any and all government spending is ‘stimulus’ has been put to the test over the last five years, and the result has been the weakest recovery in 75 years and trillion-dollar annual deficits. …
“The sequester will surely require worker furloughs and cutbacks in certain nonpriority services. But most of those layoffs will happen in the Washington, D.C. area, the recession-free region that has boomed during the Obama era.”
Here is Mitchell on CNBC:
Charles Krauthammer has advised the GOP to call Obama’s bluff:
“The Republicans finally have leverage. They should use it. Obama capitalized on the automaticity of the expiring Bush tax cuts to get what he wanted at the fiscal cliff — higher tax rates. Republicans now have automaticity on their side.
“If they do nothing, the $1.2 trillion in cuts go into effect. This is the one time Republicans can get cuts under an administration that has no intent of cutting anything. Get them while you can.”
Everyone bemoans the fact the cuts would be indiscriminate across-the-board. Yes, selective cuts would be better, but there is no chance this Congress can agree on selective cuts. So, take whatever cuts we can get and run with it.