President Obama is good at spending money and very adroit at blaming Republicans for the many failures of his presidency. ¬†Four years under his belt and another four to go and Obama continues the blame game with gusto. Now¬†Obama¬†is topping his own standard of hypocrisy and blaming the $1.2 trillion sequester on Republicans when the idea was Obama‚Äôs in 2011.
‚ÄúAnd that‚Äôs why it‚Äôs 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,‚ÄĚ declared his Royal Highness Obama.
Let‚Äôs get this straight, it‚Äôs Congress‚Äô fault sequestration, also known as the automatic spending cuts, is about to happen even though it was Obama‚Äôs idea? Apparently, Obama also never said in¬†November 2011: ‚ÄúI will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts, domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.‚ÄĚ
Oh, well he‚Äôs Obama and the media doesn‚Äôt hold him accountable to a record much less his words. The first round of $85 billion in yearly automatic cuts for the next ten years is set to rip March 1, 2013. In his usual haughty tone of denying culpability, Obama continued:
‚ÄúSo 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 ‚ÄĒ people will lose their jobs.¬† The unemployment rate might tick up again.¬†‚Äú
If the sequester isn‚Äôt ‚Äúfair‚ÄĚ, why didn‚Äôt the president get serious about solving the problem of government spending and debt in 2011 during the debt ceiling talks? Instead, Obama proposed the sequester to which Republicans in Congress objected in favor of serious budget belt-tightening?
In the summer of 2011, Obama waged a PR war demanding Republicans in Congress raise the nation‚Äôs debt ceiling (its ability to borrow) so Obama could spend more money. Republicans said they would only raise the debt ceiling (now $16.5 trillion) if Obama agreed to cut government spending. When the two sides couldn‚Äôt agree to significant cuts and Obama rejected House Speaker Boehner‚Äôs offer to raise $800 billion in taxes, the White House proposed ‚Äúsequestration.‚ÄĚ
If the sequester, again OBAMA‚ÄôS IDEA (see page 326,¬†The Price of Politics), isn‚Äôt ‚Äúsmart‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwill hurt our economy‚ÄĚ why didn‚Äôt Obama deal with it in January 2013 instead of demanding $600 billion in tax increases on higher earners over 10 years. This amounts to $60 billion a year, which will pay down less than 5% of Obama‚Äôs $1trillion yearly deficits/over spending habit.
Obama didn‚Äôt want to deal with the sequester in January so Congress kicked the can down the road until March 1, 2013. Voila, here we are less than 10 days away from sequestration with the Commander in Chief once again demanding action from Congress, as if he is a bystander to government not part of it. Half of the $85 billion in cuts would come from Defense and the other half from discretionary domestic spending, which is only a 5% cut. The Wall Street Journal calls it¬†The Unscary Sequester, reminding readers Hurricane Sandy aid was $60 billion to put things in perspective.
We‚Äôve seen this act before from Obama: 2012 and 2010 Bush tax cut stand off, 2009 stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd Frank, etc. His script is always the same, ‚ÄúCongress do it, do it now. Republicans you are getting in my way, you are bad. I‚Äôm the first black president. I deserve anything I want and will not be held to the same standards of my predecessors.‚ÄĚ
This is what Obama is saying and he‚Äôs getting away with it. Why? Because Obama enjoys a ‚Äúfawning media‚ÄĚ who perpetuates his preposterous narrative and because Republicans are lousy at PR.
Republicans fail to stay on message. Instead of telling their own story, Republicans always chase Obama‚Äôs narrative of himself and the GOP. Over the past four years, particularly during the 2012 presidential race, Obama was deft at changing the subject from his failures to the gender, race and class wars, Bush, Romney‚Äôs taxes, etc.
How does the GOP beat a media maverick like Obama? First, Republicans need to let sequestration happen and force Obama to take responsibility forthe mess¬†¬†he‚Äôs created. Second, House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell need create a consistent message and tell their team to stick with it!
For example: ‚ÄúThis president refuses to get serious about the real issues facing this country and instead wants to play the blame game, passing the buck like he‚Äôs not a part of the problem but a bystander to it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe sequester makes no cuts to mandatory or entitlement spending which according to the Congressional Budget Office are the main drivers of our unsustainable debt for the next 75 years.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúSince he became president in 2009, Obama has added $6 trillion to our debt, which stands at $16.5 trillion. He has refused to cut government spending even though the Congressional Budget Office warns our debt threatens the country‚Äôs future.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIf unemployment remains above 7.5%, as the¬†Congressional Budget Officeprojects through 2014, it will be the longest period in 70 years and the sixth straight year under Obama‚Äôs presidency the jobless rate has stayed above 7.5%.‚ÄĚ
With a lousy record like Obama‚Äôs: persistently high unemployment, largest debt since World War II, and a faltering economy, Obama shouldn‚Äôt have gotten re-elected much less be blaming Republicans for anything. But Obama is better at spinning his version of reality. It‚Äôs time for the GOP to step up its game or stay in the corner and get punched.