OMB chief: The sequester is so important to us that we replaced it, or something

posted at 3:40 pm on February 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This seems like such a simple question that even a Washington bureaucrat should be able to answer it. Does the President’s budget increase spending over the agreement reached on spending last year in the budget compromise?  Not only could acting OMB director Jeffrey Zients not answer it, Sen. Jeff Sessions actually gets Zients to say that the “sequester” is important policy in one breath and then admit to replacing it because it’s poor policy in the next.  No, really:

You think I’m kidding?  Pick this up at around the 2:45 mark and you will hear this verbatim from Zients, emphasis mine: “The President is not proposing that the sequester go away.  The sequester is a very important force and function for us to do deficit reduction. So the sequester will be replaced with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.  The sequester itself is bad policy.”  Now that there is authentic Washington gibberish.

Dana Milbank doesn’t seem to have any problem admitting that the Obama budget blows the lid off of spending:

But as a budget writer, Obama whiffed. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, although offering a few kind words for the president’s proposal, said the plan “would barely stabilize the debt — and at too high a level.”

The budget calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending. It shows deficits exceeding $600 billion in every year but one over the next decade, while the debt grows to $18.7 trillion. …

Reuters’s Caren Bohan asked about Obama’s promise, upon entering the White House, to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Zients and Sperling looked at each other and hesitated. “When the president came into office, we knew things weren’t in good shape, but we didn’t realize how bad they actually were,” Zients finally answered.

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery asked why the projected debt had swelled by $1 trillion since September. Zients spoke about “differences in economic assumptions.”

But that didn’t hold up, because the Economist’s Greg Ip pointed out that the White House is using an optimistic 3 percent forecast for economic growth this year, higher than the Federal Reserve and private-sector forecasts.

When even the Beltway media points out that the Obama White House is engaging in double-talk on budgets, look for sharks jumping in the Potomac.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

After attacking hedge funds and their managers during her tenure in the Obama administration, Anita Dunn is now working as a public relations consultant to improve the industry’s image, according to a secret proposal obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Dunn, formerly the interim White House communications director for the Obama administration and currently a managing director at the Democratic consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker (SKDK), is being promoted by the public relations firm McLean/Clark LLC as a director of “paid media” for a pro-hedge-fund campaign. The project is described by promotional material as a “comprehensive public affairs operation” to “raise awareness about the positive role hedge funds play in the American economy” and to “eliminate the need for politicians to take aim at hedge funds.”

As White House communications director, Dunn helped President Obama criticize hedge funds as a key factor of the financial collapse—and she has continued that criticism, at least in public, ever since.

An industry outsider who was pitched on Dunn’s proposal told the Washington Free Beacon that he was surprised to see the former Obama official involved in the effort. “First we see Dunn attack us on television,” he said, “and then she tells us to hire her to head off the exact attacks that she herself is hurling at us. The entire thing begins to stink like a protection racket.”

J_Crater on February 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Budgets – The Obama White House was for them before they were against them.

teke184 on February 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The Obama Administration……… Based on lies from Day 1.

ThePrez on February 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Good grief. I saw nothing but contempt for Senator Sessions in Zient’s eyes…

These people are dangerous.

Common Sense Floridian on February 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I don’t know how Sessions kept his cool.

darwin on February 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Smugness is an inherent trait in progressives. But there’s nothing new here- not a single progressive-only policy can be sold on the merits alone; they all need to be dressed up in a lie.

Surely this guy knows the budget increases spending, and surely it increases spending because that is the goal of the White House. They know spending is essential to enacting the progressive platform.

What they won’t do though is admit it, and that in itself, is enough evidence to know that progressivism is bad for America.

BKeyser on February 14, 2012 at 3:56 PM

What is so amazing and fascinating about this is something that Bill O’Reilly has many times commented on. O’Reilly is Harvard educated. He is well read and certainly not a “dumb guy” like he sometimes states in his most self deprecating moments. But he sometimes states he simply does not understand what these bureaucrats are saying when they make statements like this bonehead Zients mouthed in this clip. O’Reilly simply cannot comprehend it at all and either can I or anyone else.

Seriously, I too, am well educated and for the life of me, cannot understand what this guy means. Part of what is so amazing is that HE DOES. Zients is not really trying to confuse! He has some weird understanding of some cuckoo for cocoa puffs lingo/language that he and the rest of these knuckleheads speak!

Seriously! What he said MAKES PERFECT SENSE to him and others like him!

Can’t they provide some sort of dictionary or something? There is one for Klingon!

Opposite Day on February 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

What is so amazing and fascinating about this is something that Bill O’Reilly has many times commented on. O’Reilly is Harvard educated. He is well read and certainly not a “dumb guy” like he sometimes states in his most self deprecating moments. But he sometimes states he simply does not understand what these bureaucrats are saying when they make statements like this bonehead Zients mouthed in this clip. O’Reilly simply cannot comprehend it at all and neither can I or anyone else.

Seriously, I too, am well educated and for the life of me, cannot understand what this guy means. Part of what is so amazing is that HE DOES. Zients is not really trying to confuse! He has some weird understanding of some cuckoo for cocoa puffs lingo/language that he and the rest of these knuckleheads speak!

Seriously! What he said MAKES PERFECT SENSE to him and others like him!

Can’t they provide some sort of dictionary or something? There is one for Klingon!

Opposite Day on February 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Unless Jeffrey Zients first name is really Hon… Why on earth do we put up with this “honorable” garbage.

“The President is not proposing that the sequester go away. The sequester is a very important force and function for us to do deficit reduction. So the sequester will be replaced with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. The sequester itself is bad policy.”

Where is the honor in this deceptive double-talk?

Fallon on February 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Can’t they provide some sort of dictionary or something? There is one for Klingon!

Opposite Day on February 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

There’s a translation for language, not insane troll logic.

This guy sounds like he’s trying to convince us that if a woman weighs as much as a duck, then she’s made of wood, which means she’s a witch.

teke184 on February 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

” – while the debt grows to $18.7 trillion. …”

It’s as if no one is planning on paying any of this back…

… Oh, wait!

“The moment one gets into the area of $25 million and above, let alone a billion, the listener is completely out of touch, no longer really interested because the figures have gone above his experience and almost are meaningless. Millions of Americans do not know how many million dollars make up a billion. — P.96 – Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals.”

Seven Percent Solution on February 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Zients can dance and steal your money.

I was just thinking of that song this morning.

Harpoon on February 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Every one of the people in JugEar’s administration is F’D up!
Everyone of them has no clue! The major media has no clue!…and they are leading half the country, that has no clue! W T F !

KOOLAID2 on February 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

If it wasn’t for lies, obfuscations and attacks, this administration would have little to say.

hepcat on February 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

But he got “balanced approach to deficit reduction” in there. That poll tests well. Pay no attention to the rest of it.

forest on February 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

They blinded us with Zients.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

They blinded us with Zients.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Don’t sully one of the greatest 80′s tunes of all time with an association with this administration. Please.

CycloneCDB on February 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

They blinded us with Zients.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

now that is funny

smitty41 on February 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Zients can dance and steal your money.

Watch him or he’ll rob you blind!

And remember folks, we were NEVER at war with Eastasia, we were ALWAYS at war with Eastaisa.

Lily on February 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM

This is just more economic smoke and mirrors from inside of the Beltway.

The only problem is, there will come a time when the smoke clears, the mirror is shattered, and the People will have a decision to make.

The unrestrained and unrepentant spending, associated with Socialists in both parties – will lead us to Greece.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

And remember folks, we were NEVER at war with Eastasia, we were ALWAYS at war with Eastaisa.

Lily on February 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Love references to 1984!

Orwell, you magnificent bastard, we read your book!

OhEssYouCowboys on February 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

I saw this egg head in the Solyndra hearings…he should be removed at the very least removed from office if not jailed.

d1carter on February 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

And where are the bond rating companies – ex-Moody’s? During the whole debt ceiling debate, they were right there telling us how it would hurt our bind ratings if we didn’t come up with a deal. Demonstrating how terrible the deal was, our bond credit still took a hit. With the plans of Obama increasing spending, they should be all over the news informing us about this.

Can we put the pressure on them and see what their reaction is?

djaymick on February 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM

This administration is one of three things: 1. stupid; 2. drunk; 3. the most devious, underhanded, anti-American administration we have ever seen. Wait…I think they are all three.

allstonian on February 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Wait a minute…

… Why are they having a hearing on Obomwa’s 2013 budget?

He’s already spent the money…!

Seven Percent Solution on February 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Is there anyone that works for Ummbama that isn’t creepy looking? This guy is straight out of a Saturday Night Live skit.

dirtseller on February 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

d1carter on February 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Sheesh! he should at the very least be removed from office if not jailed.

d1carter on February 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Every one of the people in JugEar’s administration is F’D up!
Everyone of them has no clue! The major media has no clue!…and they are leading half the country, that has no clue! W T F !

KOOLAID2 on February 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Don’t you believe it. These grifters know exactly what they’re doing.

squint on February 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

February 4, 2011, Jeffrey said this:

For the first time in 13 years, the government has cut its annual spending on federal contracting, Obama administration officials announced on Thursday.

Federal agencies spent $535 billion to purchase private sector goods and services in fiscal 2010, compared to $550 billion in fiscal 2009, according to Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

“We have reversed the trend of uncontrollable growth [in federal contracting],” Zients said in a conference call with reporters. “We’re saving money and making sure every taxpayer dollar is being well-spent.”

President Obama previously had called for a combined 7 percent reduction in baseline contract spending in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 for a total savings of $40 billion. The administration says it is on pace to meet those targets, since the goal of the initiative was to reduce the overall rate of procurement spending. If the government had continued at its previous pace of contract spending, it would have spent roughly $615 billion in fiscal 2010, Zients said.

Now… the reason this caught my eye was because of the date it was published (almost exactly a year ago) and the amount that was loaned to Solyndra $535B.

Hmmmmmmm.

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Every one of the people in JugEar’s administration is F’D up!
Everyone of them has no clue! The major media has no clue!…and they are leading half the country, that has no clue! W T F !

KOOLAID2 on February 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

This really smells!

Do you ever wonder what Won does all day?

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM

CycloneCDB on February 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Apologies. Any objection to Weird Zients?

Movie?

or

Song?

Left Coast Right Mind on February 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM

so true, the other dilemma is that they don’t care because they think someone else will take care of it.

we need tax reform so everyone is on the hook and we need to make people understand what it means when Washington gets stupid and spends recklessly for whatever feel good policy.

easiest explanation I’ve seen to explain the numbers is if holding your breath for 1 minute could reduce the debt by 1 million dollars, you would need to hold your breath for almost 17 hours to reduce it 1 billion, and hold your breath almost 2 years to reduce it 1 trillion, or over 30 years to get rid of the current debt.

smitty41 on February 14, 2012 at 4:33 PM

This administration is one of three things: 1. stupid; 2. drunk; 3. the most devious, underhanded, anti-American administration we have ever seen. Wait…I think they are all three.

allstonian on February 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Perhaps you are right. But personally I think this is Cloward Piven in full bloom. He is running out of time. So from this point forward it’s going to be “in your face, Amerikkka, your time has come”.

Scary times.

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 4:38 PM

In reference to Zients one can say….This is his brain…this is his brain on drugs….Any questions?

logicman_1998 on February 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Budgeting is hard. The libs must be losing it if they can’t keep their spin straight.

Kissmygrits on February 14, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Zients was in full agreement to re-structure Solyndra, thus allowing American taxpaying citizens holding a bag of obamadolls.

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Why doesn’t anybody ever say to these talking libtards, “Will you please wipe that silly smile off your face? This is serious business, not some high school prank.” Ziets looks like a child who just farted and can’t stop himself from laughing.

And why doesn’t anybody accuse the WH CoS (and the WH) of lying to the American people… Yes, I said it… LYING. The CoS (who was a former budget director) says repeatedly on Sunday that the GOP is obstructing a budget vote? (because Harry Reid can’t get his budget past cloture? that’s a plain lie). “Let’s be honest here” (haha :)

Oh and the debt will reach 18 trillion in 10 years?? Who is kidding who? We are going to be there in a year and a half. They must mean 18 trillion in NEW debt. When will America be lead by adults again? I’m tired of these children/looters running things.

RedManBlueState on February 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM

What this budget really does is serve as a playbook for the upcoming Presidential season. There have been somewhere around 20 Republican presidential debates so far. So it is pretty clear that the Republican focus is on spending cuts. This budget makes it pretty clear that the Democratic focus is on increasing tax revenue. In this corner, weighing…..

Consider this: The entire expenditures for US government in 1800 according to a one page handwriten document, found in Thomas Jefferson’s papers, were $12,572,178.08.

When debating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, George Mason said this on term limits: “Nothing is so essential to the preservation of a republican government as a periodical rotation. Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate their burdens.” They all need to be sent home. Now!

jb34461 on February 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Solyndra was 535 million not billion. Sometimes coincidences are exactly that.

chemman on February 14, 2012 at 5:41 PM

This is right out of the Alinsky playbook. Lie on purpose, pretend, confuse and the result is chaos which is exactly what the organizer Revolutionary-in-Chief wants. It’s all part of the plan. What’s tragic is that the really stupid ones are the people who are his followers and supporters as in the leftistproglibtards who vote for him and swoon over him and do his bidding (mediots). The minute they no longer serve his purposes, he’ll turn on them, too, and they won’t know what hit them bcuz they’ll never have seen it coming.

stukinIL4now on February 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Zients was outright contemptuous of Sessions in not just refusing to answer his questions but plainly lying. Why didn’t the chairman direct him to answer the yes-or-no question with a simple “yes” or “no”.

This administration thumbs its nose at Congress and Congress just shrugs. They’re pathetic.

creeper on February 14, 2012 at 6:01 PM

All this talk of deficits, budgets, and spending is ‘Non-Zients’.

The answer is ‘Shut up’.

Chaz706 on February 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Solyndra was 535 million not billion. Sometimes coincidences are exactly that.

chemman on February 14, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Million, Billion, Trillion, bleh.

Remember at school when the word Trillion was just introduced? And we all had these calculators that could only count to 1 million and then you’d get an “E” (error)?

I long for those days.

Key West Reader on February 14, 2012 at 6:14 PM

I doubt the OMB director would ever read my FB so hopefully he registered at Hot Gas on the last open enrollment. So I will pose the same question I did on FB.

So let me get this clear….in a crystal way…The President is not proposing that the sequester go away, but the President is going to replace the sequester because it’s bad policy? Seems clear to me….er I think.

Conservative4Ever on February 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

BTW: They can remove the “Hon” (Honorable) from the front of Zients name

Conservative4Ever on February 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM

teke184 on February 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Yes, but you can build a bridge out of stone! Actually a Monty Python skit makes sense after listening to these guys from the “O” administration talk.

Mini-14 on February 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Sessions did a nice job here. That’s not a video the Administration will want to be running too often this year.

Chuckles3 on February 14, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Obama’s fiscal “experts” are unmitigated, flaming idiots.

rplat on February 14, 2012 at 8:11 PM

All I know is this, I am glad I am on this side of the table with Sessions…

right2bright on February 14, 2012 at 8:51 PM

The wealthy rich kid does not have a clue – should step down or get recalled.

Amazingoly on February 15, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Zients fiction?

Chuckles3 on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Zients and Sperling looked at each other and hesitated. “When the president came into office, we knew things weren’t in good shape, but we didn’t realize how bad they actually were,” Zients finally answered.

How is this possible? US Senator Obama and US Senator Biden were both members of Congress before getting elected. It was their frigging job to KNOW EXACTLY how bad things were!!

DSchoen on February 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM