What if it’s not really about the sequester?

posted at 12:01 pm on February 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Investors Business Daily asks the question, “Is Obama Losing His Media Allies Over The Sequester?” Only those that are paying attention. After a steady weeks-long diet of hysteria, hyperbole, and half-truths, Education Secretary Arne Duncan let the cat fully out of the bag yesterday with his face-plant on teacher layoffs, and now even the Washington Post has begun to express some long-overdue skepticism:

While the country has lived through five temporary government shutdowns since 1981, “we actually haven’t had something quite like this before,” said David Kamin, formerly special assistant to the president for economic policy in the Obama White House and now a New York University law professor. “We’ve never had an across-the-board cut of this magnitude applied.”

What is not new, however, is the impulse of officials to resort to melodrama when they are faced with budget cuts. Getting people’s attention has been a challenge in the case of the sequester. In the latest Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey, only one in four said they were closely following news about the automatic spending cuts.

The ploy even has a name: the “Washington Monument” syndrome, a reference to the National Park Service’s decision to close that landmark and the Grand Canyon for two days a week after the Nixon administration cut funding in 1969.

At the Pentagon, it’s called a “gold watch” maneuver, but it’s essentially the same idea.  Pick something that sounds scary or mean for your cuts, and watch support for fiscal discipline magically melt away.  The only problem with those strategies is getting caught in lies while trying to push them.

As for the “magnitude” of this across-the-board cut, the statement by the former Obama aide speaks volumes not about the sequester, but the lack of prior discipline that it exposes.  Cutting $85 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget is a reduction of only 2.3%.  I haven’t worked for a company yet that hasn’t had to impose across-the-board reductions in spending at one time or another with a much larger magnitude in almost all cases.  Millions of American families have had to cut a lot more than 2.3% of their budgets thanks to the Great Recession and the Obama recovery flop.

To call that a cut of any magnitude is almost laughably self-revealing, and the fact that we’ve never done it before makes it all the more imperative to start setting some precedents for it, even with a small step like the sequester.

But this Nightmare on Sequester Street hysteria isn’t really about the sequester at all.  In my column today for The Fiscal Times, I argue that the sequester was a fait accompli all along, which the lack of Senate action should have made clear to everyone.  This hysteria is a strategy designed to shape the battleground for another fight altogether:

Even with the surprise, the amount of hysteria combined with Obama’s ownership of the strategy is disproportionate to the effects.  Democrats began to openly worry about the messaging from the White House this week, fretting that an anti-climax after the sequestration hit would end up leaving egg on their faces.  If all of the horror stories turned out to be a big bust, then Republicans would be able to say, “We told you the world wouldn’t end if we cut spending!” That would leave them in a stronger position for further cuts.

Or would it? Just as Republicans decided to put the loss of the fight over the Bush-era tax rates behind them and ride the sequester to win the next round, the Obama administration may be doing the same in this round.  After all, the tables had turned to allow the GOP to do nothing to get its way, just as Obama did with all of the tax rates expiring on New Years Day two months ago.

The White House may have been surprised to see their opponents taking the substantial hit to Defense to win this round, but had to have seen that they couldn’t do anything about it – not without tipping their hand on the expiration of the continuing resolution (CR), which takes place on March 27th.  After that, the federal government has no budget, and without a new CR or final budget, the government will be forced to shut down.

And this is the real fight. The stakes will be the highest for both parties in a government shutdown, and both parties have reasons to avoid the fight.  Neither has an advantage in expiration dates.  The rubber game of chicken will be a straight-up battle of nerves … and public relations.

In that arena, the histrionics over the paltry sequester trims serve Obama’s purposes.  If the public perceives the GOP to have won a big fight by keeping the sequesters in place, that puts more pressure on House Republicans to compromise on the next continuing resolution.  If people don’t see an immediate impact from the sequester, they still will be open to the idea that we can’t go much further in spending reductions without risking real damage.  Those small reductions that generate anger and backlash against either or both parties will tend to hurt the Republicans more in 2014, since they have to defend their House majority in 435 districts, while Democrats will only have to protect their Senate majority in 33 states.  If Obama can create austerity fatigue with this sequester hysteria, Republicans will find themselves in serious trouble next year.

Consider this, too: the sequester cuts aren’t anywhere near as draconian as Obama and his Cabinet have suddenly proclaimed them to be.  However, the House will probably produce much more significant cuts in the next round of the CR, and in the FY2014 budget.  Obama wants everyone to believe we’re absorbing all of the pain we possibly can now in order to cut the ground out from the House GOP in the next fight.

Call that the Hype and No Change strategy, and don’t think it can’t work, either.


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the sequester

Sorry to get all grammar-nitpick-y, but sequester is not a noun.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

What if it’s not really about the sequester?

It’s not. It is about the principle and precedent of making real cuts in immediately planned government spending, spending that would take place in coming months, however small. Instead of the “we won’t spend as much in 2016″ kind of faux “spending cut”.

Big government socialists fear it like the Wicked Witch of the West feared water.

farsighted on February 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Now that you mention it, I see it more as about Obama’s need to be seen as a “good person”. And if he has to accomplish that by portraying others (e.g. Republicans) as “bad people”, so be it. Obama’s moral compass is, IMHO, underdeveloped, and defective. Painting others as bad to make himself look like a “good person” actually makes sense to him. This is the same guy who twists Scripture into pretzels to support his public policy decisions. This is just another example of his moral sense, which is a caricature of morality. Like himself, a simulacrum.

Paul-Cincy on February 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Big government socialists fear it like the Wicked Witch of the West feared water.

Fear and loathing in DC, when it comes to real and needed spending cuts.

hawkeye54 on February 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

What an idiotic explanation this story is. The only way the left and the Dems can win this fight is if the GOP let’s them win. And that is precisely what this story is all about. It’s written by design to help lay the groundwork for yet another cave by the GOP, because they had too don’t you know.

bgibbs1000 on February 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Sorry to get all grammar-nitpick-y, but sequester is not a noun.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

It is now. It’s shorter than sequestration (the act of sequestering), and yet gets the idea across.

unclesmrgol on February 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Please Republicans, have the guts to hold your water for just a little longer!!!

itsspideyman on February 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

It never was. It was about having something else to scare low-info voters into hating conservatives.

CurtZHP on February 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

hype and hysteria on the sequester will be long gone and they will defend the hype and hysteria once again for the WH

cmsinaz on February 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Sorry to get all grammar-nitpick-y, but sequester is not a noun.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

.
It is now. It’s shorter than sequestration (the act of sequestering), and yet gets the idea across.

unclesmrgol on February 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

.
This is NOT a criticism of steebo77; how many English verbs end with “-er”?

listens2glenn on February 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

If a 2.3% cut is such a draconian measure, then shouldn’t the 2% increase in Soc Sec tax be thought of as equally devastating? It wasn’t.

According to the CBO, we spent $3.538 trillion in 2012 and expect 2013 to be at $3.553 trillion, yet with that spending level, we can’t even support the programs we supported on last year’s lower numbers.

Per the DoD, since 2001 Base spending on defense has gone up 77% (2013) and if you include OCO/Supplementals (war) their budget increased 94%. We have had at least two carrier groups in the Persian Gulf region for most of that time, but now, all of a sudden, we don’t have the funds? From FY01-08, DoD’s base was under $500 billion. Tehir average for FY09-13 is $525 billion.

I do have to admit, under Obama (FY2009-2013) the DoD base funding has risen only 2% and OCO funding has decreased by 39%, so the military hasn’t really done any expansion and so additional indiscriminate cuts could be problematic.

However, an overall 2.3% cut does not make us paupers and only exposes the scaremongering of the modern Democratic party.

SouthernRoots on February 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM

This is NOT a criticism of steebo77; how many English verbs end with “-er”?

listens2glenn on February 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

.
Of course I had to post that previous comment, before it occurred to me; verbs in the future tense.

listens2glenn on February 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM

What if it’s not really about the sequester?

Of course it isn’t. Everything these people do is all about optics. The WH cannot allow cuts to look good in any light (or at least not before it can be framed to look good for the Messiah). They have to go scorched earth to ensure the continual expansion of government.

nobar on February 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

If our debt is $1T a year, and we’re getting $80 billion a year extra from taxing the rich (not factoring in any resulting economic slowdown), and now $85 billion in cuts this year, we’re still hardly touching our unsustainable situation. Doesn’t there have to be a ferocious crash sooner or later? So this is a show. Obama painting those he disagrees with as evil, and himself as good, and caring, and compassionate.

Paul-Cincy on February 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

If bho isn’t in full crisis mode daily, he is NOT happy! This is the only way to see to he doesn’t have to actually make a decision and can blame everyone else if they do?
L

letget on February 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

It is now. It’s shorter than sequestration (the act of sequestering), and yet gets the idea across.

unclesmrgol on February 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

God forbid Americans have to speak a whole five syllables. That’s just too much to ask.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The end of the world sequester hysteria has nothing to do with sequester. Obama has 4 more years of inconceivably disastrous unemployment #’s, Quarterly GDP reports, millions more exiting the workforce, & O’Care implementation. More severe devastation is yet to come. Mr. ‘It’s Not My Fault’ will blame Sequester every single campaign speech for 4 more years. Sequester (& of course Repubs) = Obama’s 2nd term scapegoat. Story is already written

drivingtheview on February 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Ed, I think you are onto something here.

The ‘Sequester’ is going to happen. The WH knows this. It would be foolish to assume that all of their recent hysteria was designed to stop the ‘cuts’ from happening.

So, the question remains… why are they screaming so loud?

When the cuts occur and the sky does not fall, they would potentially be sitting their with egg on their faces and would be severely limited in talking about future reductions in spending…

… Or so, one would think…

But, isn’t it just as reasonable to assume that there is a method behind their madness?

Spending will be reduced here… and the WH will claim that it is onlyby their hard work on behalf of the people that the country did not fall into pandemonium.

So, when the next round comes, they will be able to say… “Hey, look, we already cut spending… time for new taxes”

This is essentially Ed’s argument… and I think it is accurate.

RightWay79 on February 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

What if it’s not really about the sequester?

Filed under, “Duh”.

The Rogue Tomato on February 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM

He keeps getting worse and his supporter still love him. Time to throw in the towel??

earlgrey133 on February 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The entire Woodwardgate and the reporting from Yahoo is Goebbelian.

These are dire times, especially from a propaganda standpoint.

Wake up media, or you will be shut up.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Obama is Thug in Chief, not president of the once great USA.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I recall years back negotiating for teachers for a modest raise with the school board which immediately threatened to cut out the entire high school football program because the teachers were “demanding” a budget busting raise. (It would have brought us almost up to the pay level of school custodians.)
The HS auditorium was immediately full of screaming kids and irate parents who demanded the money be put back into the budget. The school board members smiled as the town finance board was handed the heat and capitulated.
Savvy finance game-players always seek the most controversial things to threaten any budget cuts, though I doubt any would have been as patently asinine as the world is ending lies that the hapless Obama administration is predicting.
Back then most folks didn’t tolerate Obama’s level of abuse by their politicians, but hope and change has altered our Karma or something.

Don L on February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

If the Republicans were smart, then they would start yelling from the roof tops that they did a 2% cut and nobody noticed. Then follow it up with; “How much more could we cut and nobody notice?”

LoganSix on February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

God forbid Americans have to speak a whole five four syllables. That’s just too much to ask.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Methinks that having a “discussion” on “gun control” while the “sequester” “waits in the wings” has had the effect of watering down the attention of the public on the “sequester.”

Most folks know that DC doesn’t work with a “full deck” on all things fiscal, so one more is just noise. Add to that the “gun control” thing, they won’t watch the “sequester” BS.

J_Crater on February 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

With the economic malaise continuing for the foreseeable future, Obama will now blame any bad economic news post-March 1st on these puny sequester cuts – and the lapdog media will let him get away with it.

Book it.

Common Sense Floridian on February 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

once again, dear leader gets away scott free….

cmsinaz on February 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Cutting $85 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget is a reduction of only 2.3%.

I don’t know why the Republicans do not put this in real terms.

An individual with a $2000 monthly budget cuts at 2.3% and that equals, $46.
$3000 = $69
$5000 = $115

Vince on February 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

This site has been extremely boring and sad since the elections. It used to be fun coming here prior to Nov 6th. Not anymore. All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Boehner will cave, like he did everytime.

anikol on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

As I’ve said before, the PANIC! over this superficial and completely symbolic paper-cut of the size of government spending EXPANSION should convince every holder of US debt to call their notes due, since there is no possible way to expect the TRILLION DOLLAR A YEAR REAL CUTS necessary just to STOP adding more debt will ever happen.

And, thus, the trillions in accumulated debt ARE going to be defaulted on.

wildcat72 on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

It’s strange, you have to read ten stories, hear numerous political interviews and commentary articles, to separate truth from Obama drama, and finally figure out what’s going on. But I think I kinda get it now.

The 85 billion so called “cut” that Obama is whining in anguish about represents a budget reduction to pre stimulus budget funding levels. Obama and his dems have operated without a budget for four years, using the “stimulus” cash bump each year as an obama petty cash fund, growing government by nearly a third during his tenure. Republicans, (actually it’s the tea party faction), are trying to drag Obama kicking and screaming back to 2008 baseline funding levels, taking away Obama’s extra cash stash. And the upcoming Continuing Resolution fight will be based on the reduced budget number, not the stimulus enhanced budget number. It’s a pawn chess move by the tea party, but not a bad one considering the playing board. It’s just a shame they have to fight Obama, dems and even fellow republicans, to get anything done.

Does my admittedly simple assessment of the issue sound about right?

If a decrease in the rate of increase in federal spending causes Obama to engage in such petty histrionics as to release deport-eligible illegal aliens onto the city streets, imagine the tantrum an actual “cut’ in government spending will cause?

Cavalry on February 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM

So, when the next round comes, they will be able to say… “Hey, look, we already cut spending… time for new taxes”

This is essentially Ed’s argument… and I think it is accurate.

RightWay79 on February 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Seems like a plausible analysis.

Except that they will always find a reason to call for higher taxes and provide a rationale for doing so no matter what happens. Anything the GOP does or does not do will be twisted to that purpose. Higher taxes is their unending mantra. The will chant it all of the time no matter what happens or does not happen.

So, basically, it doesn’t matter whether or not this is their plan. For them, if they can stop the cuts or mitigate them, fine. If not they can use them as an excuse to raise taxes. Which is what they will say must be done, cuts or no cuts.

The game they play is heads you lose, tails they win. There is little to be gained in trying to analyze it too closely.

farsighted on February 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM

This site has been extremely boring and sad since the elections. It used to be fun coming here prior to Nov 6th. Not anymore. All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Banworthy Comment.

But seriously, if you don’t like it, go away.

nobar on February 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The fight of whatever extends the CR should change the battleground as the Senate won’t be able to hide in the next round.

J_Crater on February 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The Democrats look way out of touch with the economy, and even petty in the way they are shooting off friendly fire at reproters.

“Cuts” aside, defending increasing spending by 98% of X instead of 100% of X (as they are) by going to the mattresses this way merely bewilders voters.

I like the effect they’ve unintentionally created, because when they start crying “Wolf!” again– when a budget/CR needs to (finally) be produced– none of the low-information voters will pay them any attention at all, and we can finally begin to get at the root problems.

MTF on February 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

So, when the next round comes, they will be able to say… “Hey, look, we already cut spending… time for new taxes”

This is essentially Ed’s argument… and I think it is accurate.

RightWay79 on February 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

You’re thinking too rational. The fact is that no matter which way the ball rolls these guys will lie and attack and abuse the truth to manipulate the masses who will on cue promptly fall for their lies…so at least do some cutting while they lie. The right should never fail to do what’s right because of fear that the same idiots who voted for these guys will think.
That’s the real Obama game-to keep the GOP capitulating for fear of what the voters might think.
That is the opposite of leadership! Do what’s right and fix things and then see what the voters think about that.

Don L on February 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The fundamental problem here is that Obama CANNOT allow the meme of “spending cuts” to fertilize in the minds of the People IN ANY AMOUNT.

The one thing that is completely unavoidable to get our house in order is spending cuts, because even at a tax rate of 100% at $3.7 trillion a year in spending we’d still have a deficit of hundreds of billions. And DC will be burned to the ground along with every single IRS office LONG before they can collect 100% even once…

wildcat72 on February 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Funny thing is, 2.3% is about what I pay for credit card processing.

Now I don’t take a lot of credit cards and when I do, the fee is kind of annoying. But being kind of annoyed is some degree of magnitude different from being destitute.

Typhoon on February 28, 2013 at 12:46 PM

It is all about Obama proving to the American people that they are even stupider than they think they are.

Any idiots left who do think Obama is the worst thing that happened to the US in the last 100 years deserve more of this Obamanation.

albill on February 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Cutting $85 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget is a reduction of only 2.3%.

Sometime you make me wonder as to what your true goals and intentions are Ed. Let’s take this statement above, “Cutting $85 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget is a reduction of only 2.3%” actually it is not a reduction at all.

That right Ed, though I suspect perhaps you probably know that. The 3.7 trillion budget (if we can really call it a budget since we haven’t had an actual budget in what 1400+ days) includes in it a 30 percent increase over last year. Until and unless the entire 30 percent increase from last years budget magically disappears, subtracting 85 billion from an increased by 30 percent budget is not a reduction.

What it is is just a smaller increase in spending than the government allocated itself. There is a profound difference (and not just in the veracity of making the statement) between a reduction in spending and not getting as much of an increase as you requested.

To continue calling it a reduction when it is in fact no such thing, is to engage in Orwellian double speak, and to do so with full malice of forethought.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

If the Republicans were smart, then they would start yelling from the roof tops that they did a 2% cut and nobody noticed. Then follow it up with; “How much more could we cut and nobody notice?”

LoganSix on February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I think the GOP needs to make it clear that sequestration is nothing more than a good first step but it only reduces the rate of spending and does not provide a single cut to the budget. At the end of they day we are borrowing $.32 out of every dollar instead of $.35.

Then the GOP needs to say no to renewal of any CR and (if necessary) shut the government down if the Senate doesn’t get off its arse and pass a budget. And if they pass a budget without real cuts, then no CR either. In short, make it so it just isn’t the House that proposes cuts with the Dems fearmongering among the worthless parasites who contribute nothing to society even as they suck up more and more of the producers.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

And you said I was stupid when I told you it might not be the best idea to go running headlong into it full of oppositional irreverence just because Rush gave you the go-ahead to accept the sequester.

It plays conservatives and the republican party right the hands of the administrations political strategy.

Genuine on February 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

*right into

Genuine on February 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

If a decrease in the rate of increase in federal spending causes Obama to engage in such petty histrionics as to release deport-eligible illegal aliens onto the city streets, imagine the tantrum an actual “cut’ in government spending will cause?

Cavalry on February 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM

But his “boy that cried wolf, wolf, wolf, and oh wow a whole pack is coming to eat us alive trick” is already being shut off by his parrot media, and the little guy will just ho hum. These are times when tactics will go a lot further than economic lessons. Pour it on him and laugh at his hysteria and keep nibbling away at the spending the USA into oblivion mindset he has.

Don L on February 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Any idiots left who do think Obama is the worst thing that happened to the US in the last 100 years deserve more of this Obamanation.

albill on February 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I think you must have left a “not” out. I’ve always thought that Obama is the worst thing to have happened to the US ever and I sure as hell do not “deserve” more of this rat-eared crap weasel and his merry band of commies, socialists, terrorists, and anarchists.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Agree. They never made any real effort to avoid the sequester. The real fight will come over the next 3-4 weeks … we expect turbulence. Seatbelts are securely fastened ….

TouchdownBuddha on February 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

RightWay79 on February 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Maybe.

But I don’t think so.

It’s equally likely that Obama just expected the Republicans to cave. They always have before. And it’s also equally likely that the guy has finally overplayed his hand.

To me, it makes more sense to think that after the sequester happens without ill-effects, the public will be less inclined to believe in Obama’s next round of wolf-crying than more.

Typhoon on February 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

This hysteria generated by the White House has NOTHING to do with the current spending levels. It has EVERYTHING to do with setting the narrative for the 2014 election cycle. Obama has to DESTROY the GOP so Obama can get his 2nd term agenda on the books with a rubber stamp Congress for the 2nd half of his second term.

It is all setting up for an even larger progressive agenda to shove down our throats, even on a global level. I don’t normally yell “chicken little” on this conspiracy stuff, but I see this as plain as day. Check out what is going on according to the “white house insider” who has so far been dead on accurate with everything he has said back in 2011 and 2012:

http://theulstermanreport.com/2013/02/28/boom-leaked-email-shows-true-intent-of-obamas-organizing-for-action-whi-related/

karenhasfreedom on February 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM

That should have been obvious the moment the illegal aliens were released.
 
Not that the cult members care about the rapes and DUIs, but still.

rogerb on February 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM

So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Just shut up and sing, lard-butt.

Tell your masters that they really need to change the wording of their talking points directives, too. “Has been”, indeed.
You’re nothing but a sock-puppet.

Solaratov on February 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Sorry to get all grammar-nitpick-y, but sequester is not a noun.
steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

.
It is now. It’s shorter than sequestration (the act of sequestering), and yet gets the idea across.

unclesmrgol on February 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

.
This is NOT a criticism of steebo77; how many English verbs end with “-er”?

listens2glenn on February 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Blister

oconp88 on February 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

This site has been extremely boring and sad since the elections. It used to be fun coming here prior to Nov 6th. Not anymore.

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Easily solved, sock-puppet.

Don’t come here anymore.

See how easy that is?

Leftoid sock-puppets are exceptionally stupid.

Solaratov on February 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

These are times when tactics will go a lot further than economic lessons. Pour it on him and laugh at his hysteria and keep nibbling away at the spending the USA into oblivion mindset he has.

Don L on February 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I’ve posted this for a couple days now but I really want the GOP to make the following a talking point.

Any prediction of dire results needs to be followed up with a direct question to the self-proclaimed Cassandra making it. Why aren’t you able to live within your “budget” without making the kinds of cuts that will hurt the American public the most?

For example, Ray TheHood’s department gets something like $74B. Yet he makes the claim that furloughs of air traffic controllers (and delays for air travelers) is the first priority of meeting “cuts.” I’m willing to bet that even a child could find waste within the Transportation Department.

Likewise Janet Nepolitano essentially announced that releasing illegal alien criminals and standing down border agents and TSA screeners is the only way she can deal with “cuts” to DHS.

In short we’ve either got an extremely efficient, if expensive, government. Or we’ve got a bunch of fearmongering liars practicing the time-honored firemen first tradition instead of seriously looking at their operations and figuring out what wasteful aspects of their organizations could be cut with minimal impact on the American taxpayer. When you get right down to it, it really is reprehensible that any reduction is met with threats to taxpayer’s interaction with their government rather than deciding that a particular project, program, or function could be reduced or eliminated.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Cutting $85 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget is a reduction of only 2.3%.

I don’t know why the Republicans do not put this in real terms.

An individual with a $2000 monthly budget cuts at 2.3% and that equals, $46.
$3000 = $69
$5000 = $115

Vince on February 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Or how about, In January every taxpayers taxes went up 2+%. If you can make due with that much less without freaking out, why can’t the Federal Government?

oconp88 on February 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

IMO this sequester hysteria seems to be cover for the fact that next month either a CR or budget are due. Has anyone heard that the Senate Dems are going to produce a budget? The hysteria is a distraction because, quite frankly, how likely are Senate Dems to produce a budget? If the Repubs are serious about returning to normal legislative order, they would simply wait for the Senate Dems to produce a budget. Until then, they really don’t have to do much except keep reminding the public that they are waiting on the Senate to take action.

The Democrat’s might be fearing, at this point, that they won’t have a viable budget or CR, and they may take some blame if the government shuts down. I realize that is probably wishful thinking given the media is in the tank for the Democrats.

rsherwd65 on February 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

You worthless parasites really don’t have as much control as you think you do. We are quickly reaching the tipping point where the hhatred building against you moochers is going to spill over into one giant ass-kicking response to all of you takers who think that you are entitled to the fruit of others’ labor.

But if you aren’t happy here, nobody’s keeping you. It isn’t like you’d even be missed.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

If people don’t see an immediate impact from the sequester, they still will be open to the idea that we can’t go much further in spending reductions without risking real damage.

Or they will be less inclined to believe the Democrat-media histrionics in the future and, hopefully, more receptive to the possibility of actual, meaningful cuts.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I don’t know why the Republicans do not put this in real terms.

An individual with a $2000 monthly budget cuts at 2.3% and that equals, $46.
$3000 = $69
$5000 = $115

Vince on February 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I don’t know why the Republicans don’t get serious and give the rat-eared wonder the balanced approach he keeps calling for. Across the board 2.3% cut to entitlement programs. The parasites taxes didn’t go up because they don’t pay taxes. Let them contribute something to retiring the debt. Surely they could get by on less just like those of us who have to work, pay taxes, and contribute to society while they loll around proclaiming that work is for losers.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Do you realize how stupid and arrogant you are to make some comments about whether or not people are overweight. How would you know. Or does it just suit your insecure nature to assume that.

Can you please explain to me precisely what is wrong with being white? How do you expect white people to behave in today’s society?

Can any other hot air readers give me an update on Mary Katherine Ham. I thought she was a woman, and she appears to have a very normal size (not overweight). What has happened to her? Or is Hot Air Lib just that stupid.

earlgrey133 on February 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Obama and his lackeys must be mocked relentlessly for running around with their hair on fire when it becomes obvious to everyone that the predicted apocalypse never came. We need to go full Alinsky.

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Do you realize how stupid and arrogant you are to make some comments about whether or not people are overweight. How would you know. Or does it just suit your insecure nature to assume that.

earlgrey133 on February 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Tamara Holder told him that “all, or most, Republicans are fatasses.”

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

“Copywrite” of the following coment by APACHEWHOKNOWS on Hot Air Blog and the words are the property of Apachewhoknows only and to be used only to with said APACHEWHOKNOWS permission to make fun of the loon in chief B. Obama.

“Pres. B. Obama cries “sheep” and expects his sheep to cry back to and for him.”

The msm sheep seem to hear in the clear.

apachewhoknows sheep when they bleet.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad
 
HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

 
As sad as realizing that no readers have witnessed you win a debate against them?

rogerb on February 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

This site has been extremely boring and sad since the elections. It used to be fun coming here prior to Nov 6th. Not anymore. All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

.
Posting a comment that complains about other people complaining, is _______________________. (you fill in the blank)

So shut up, and READ . . . . . . . . . . . . . our complaints, or take a hike.

listens2glenn on February 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Tamara Holder told him that “all, or most, Republicans are fatasses.”

steebo77 on February 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I did hear about that. I am a republican and my “fat ass” just finished p90X.

earlgrey133 on February 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

ABC………”"”bbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaa”;

CBS……….,,,,ba, ba, black sheep have you any wool, no sir no sir the sequester cut all the sheep shearing budget…

CNN,,,,,ba, ba, we be the wool and we pull it over the sheeps eyes for our pay days… the ones with the nuts in them…

NBC,,,,ba, ba,, we too, go ba, ba, but the sequester cut our power prior as we are just the paid staff of the White House in fact.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

If people don’t see an immediate impact from the sequester, they still will be open to the idea that we can’t go much further in spending reductions without risking real damage.

Not to worry about that “if”. The MSM propaganda machine already has hundreds of interviews lined up with people negatively impacted. With hundreds more to follow.

farsighted on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

I think the GOP needs to make it clear that sequestration is nothing more than a good first step but it only reduces the rate of spending and does not provide a single cut to the budget. At the end of they day we are borrowing $.32 out of every dollar instead of $.35.

Then the GOP needs to say no to renewal of any CR and (if necessary) shut the government down if the Senate doesn’t get off its arse and pass a budget. And if they pass a budget without real cuts, then no CR either. In short, make it so it just isn’t the House that proposes cuts with the Dems fearmongering among the worthless parasites who contribute nothing to society even as they suck up more and more of the producers.

Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

You would think the GOP won the election with the way this guy is ranting. GOP should “demand” this and “lecture” that.

Step out of the echo chamber bud. You party lost. They don’t “demand” anything.

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

You would think the GOP won the election with the way this guy is ranting. GOP should “demand” this and “lecture” that.

Step out of the echo chamber bud. You party lost. They don’t “demand” anything.

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

NEWSFLASH: STATUS QUO WAS MAINTAINED! Nobody won much (if anything, the divide in the houses of Congress were expanded).

nobar on February 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM

You party lost

Yeah, well, you party lost the House.

Trolling, trolling, trolling.

farsighted on February 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Ed, I understand your argument and see the logic in it – but I disagree with it for these reasons.

Obama has lost the sequester fight – and more places are essentially – because of Woodward – reporting that it was Obama’s idea. They think Woodward is overblowing the threat, but that his depiction of the sequester was accurate. That is why Obama is walking back his talking points on how terrible it will be.

The GOP has successfully taken a defense budget cut. And everyone knows it, it is widely reported. And everyone knows their taxes went up – so we have had the tax hike. What Obama is left with is entitlement plans – his sacred cow. They haven’t been touched really.

Nothing bad will happen in the next month – which is bad. Because it becomes the boy who cried wolf. And he was so public about it even the low info voter heard about it. You can only cry wolf so long before it bites you in the a**. And Obama can’t have his hands too bloodied. It requires the Senate to carry his water and Reid realizes that this president is never going to be elected again but he (Reid) has an election in 2016 which he can win if he just keeps quiet. So the Senate will not be out front.

There will be all sorts of consternation on the end of the spending resolution but all of the GOP in the budget world knew the sequester really didn’t matter – they were playing for the end of March as well. They come out having raised taxes on the rich and agreed to “massive” cuts at defense (the generals said so).

Obama placed his entire strategy on the GOP not being able to hold the defense cut spending coalition together. And he almost pulled it off and Dr. K and Bill Kristol were unwitting accomplices for the WH.

Obama is exposed in a manner he doesn’t like – and he has never been good at moving the bar on his own. Look for an attempt to create a manufactured crisis on a social issue to get the GOP back on its heels. The GOP doesn’t need to win the next fight – Obama does. A tie works to the GOP advantage – and that tie will include some painful cuts to programs more dear to the One’s heart.

Zomcon JEM on February 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Call that the Hype and No Change strategy, and don’t think it can’t work, either.

Isn’t this basically what has happened in Europe with their faux-Austerity cuts for the past few years?

Make the people believe there have been cuts and that they have been living austerity. Then blame the current lack of services and bad economy on austerity. Everyone will want to go back to spending.

“We tried tax cuts with Bush and got a depression. We tried austerity with Boehner and got another recession. Don’t listen to the Republicans.”

Sebastian on February 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

You party lost

We complain more about the GOP than you do, many of us (like me) not being Republican. Still, the Pubs are influential enough to keep you and yours constantly wiggling and scrambling all the time.

Liam on February 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

My take is that everything the regime does is political. Rush just pointed out how the country has 34k beds for illegals who had been sent to jail across the country. Last week, over a week before sequestration begins, and proably as much as a month before it is felt, someone no one knows who(can you say bis sis) authorized the release of 9,000 of these illegals who had committed crimes to be released from jails across the country.
At the timne 31k beds were occupied and 34k were avaliable.
Tell me this is not political.

rodguy911 on February 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Or is Hot Air Lib just that stupid.

earlgrey133 on February 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Yes.

Solaratov on February 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Tell me this is not political.

rodguy911 on February 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

On top of that, if they couldn’t ‘afford’ to keep those people still locked up, how are they able to pay for that ‘constant monitoring’ of all those freed that they say is going on?

Liam on February 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

You party lost. They don’t “demand” anything.

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Shut up and sing, b!tch!

(btw, Shouldn’t that be “your party…”?
Or is that the way you and yours talk?)

Solaratov on February 28, 2013 at 1:50 PM

What if it’s not really about the sequester?

It isn’t. It is about the 2014 midterm elections.

The 2010 midterms were an unplanned coitus interuptus for the Obama orgy.

Every month, for the next 18 months, Obama will histerically gin-up every national debate, to get the low info voters to the polls.

Expect an endless stream of manufactured crises, exploited tragedies and fake outrage between now and then.

Only if he wins back the House in 2014, can Obama return to his liberal radical agenda unfettered.

It must be sad, for the liberal trolls around here, to be dating the beauty queen in the White House, only to find themselves impotent.

MichaelGabriel on February 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Obama placed his entire strategy on the GOP not being able to hold the defense cut spending coalition together. And he almost pulled it off and Dr. K and Bill Kristol were unwitting accomplices for the WH.

Obama is exposed in a manner he doesn’t like – and he has never been good at moving the bar on his own. Look for an attempt to create a manufactured crisis on a social issue to get the GOP back on its heels. The GOP doesn’t need to win the next fight – Obama does. A tie works to the GOP advantage – and that tie will include some painful cuts to programs more dear to the One’s heart.

Zomcon JEM on February 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

THIS. And they’re not just cuts to programs near and dear to Obama’s heart, they are going to be cuts that will tear apart Obama’s coalition of government clients. There is only one thing holding the Democratic coalition together, and that is unlimited federal spending. Once choices must be made they all start fighting each other instead of fighting Republicans. This is why the stakes are so high for Obama and the Democrats, why the rhetoric has been so shrill, and why Obama is still clamoring for more tax increases. he will do anything to avoid being the guy that has to choose which liberal sacred cow gets gored.

rockmom on February 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Step out of the echo chamber bud. You party lost. They don’t “demand” anything.

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

One of the stupidest comments on HA.

You don’t know much.

How’s it being a fat plankton?

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM

All you read is grown and probably overweight white men b!tching and moaning over something they have no control over.So sad
 
HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

 
As sad as realizing that no readers have witnessed you win a debate against them?
 
rogerb on February 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

 

Then the GOP needs to say no to renewal of any CR and (if necessary) shut the government down if the Senate doesn’t get off its arse and pass a budget…
 
Happy Nomad on February 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

 
You would think the GOP won the election with the way this guy is ranting. GOP should “demand” this and “lecture” that.
 
Step out of the echo chamber bud. You party lost. They don’t “demand” anything.
 
HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

 
And you personally and willingly prove my point not five minutes later. You should google “bicameral” and read why the word is important.
 
Words that grown, overweight white men know, btw.
 
Obama 2013!

rogerb on February 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Nothing bad will happen in the next month – which is bad. Because it becomes the boy who cried wolf. And he was so public about it even the low info voter heard about it. You can only cry wolf so long before it bites you in the a**. And Obama can’t have his hands too bloodied. It requires the Senate to carry his water and Reid realizes that this president is never going to be elected again but he (Reid) has an election in 2016 which he can win if he just keeps quiet. So the Senate will not be out front.
…………………………….
The problem with your take is that zero,his handlers, has already seen to it that bad things will happen no matter what. Wheter they should have or not.
People have already been laid off in advance of the sequester. Illegals have been let out of jail, who knows what else.You can bet we shall find out about after March 1. As if funding was magically cut off then.
You can bet lots of things will happen. Not because they had to but becuase politically it helps the regime.

rodguy911 on February 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Obama wants everyone to believe we’re absorbing all of the pain we possibly can now in order to cut the ground out from the House GOP in the next fight.

Call that the Hype and No Change strategy, and don’t think it can’t work, either.

I think we need to take every opportunity to highlight what the Democrats said about deficits and deficit spending during the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

Democrats including Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama were very, very vocal in criticizing Bush (both cycles) and the Republican Congress (in the 2006 cycle) for “piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren” and “the four worst deficits in the history of America”. The largest deficit of any Republican-majority Fiscal Year was less than $413 Billion in FY 2004.

The annual deficits actually decreased in FY 2005, 2006, and 2007.

The last Republican-majority defict, in FY 2007, was less than $161 Billion.

It was not until Pelosi and Reid took majority control of the budgeting process that the annual deficit roughly tripled (in FY 2008) and then tripled AGAIN (in FY 2009).

The Democrats won the 2006 elections by promising “Fiscal Discipline” and “no more deficit spending”, and then did the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they promised.

2006:

Over the past decade, the Republican controlled Congress took our nation in the wrong direction. Too many Americans are paying a heavy price for those wrong choices: record costs for energy, health care and education; jobs shipped overseas; and budgets that heap record debt on our children. For millions, the middle-class dream has been replaced by a middle-class squeeze…

Democrats are proposing a New Direction for America…

With integrity, civility and fiscal discipline, our New Direction for America will use commonsense principles to address the aspirations and fulfill the hopes and dreams of all Americans. That is our promise to the American people….

Our federal budget should be a statement of our national values. One of those values is responsibility. Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore “Pay As You Go” budget discipline.

Budget discipline has been abandoned by the Bush Administration and its Republican congressional majorities. Congress under Republican control has turned a projected $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus at the end of the Clinton years into a nearly $3 trillion deficit– including the four worst deficits in the history of America. The nation’s debt ceiling has been raised four times in just five years to more than $8.9 trillion. Nearly half of our nation’s record debt is owned by foreign countries including China and Japan. Without a return to fiscal discipline, the foreign countries that make our computers, our clothing and our toys will soon be making our foreign policy. Deficit spending is not just a fiscal problem – it’s a national security issue as well.

Our New Direction is committed to “Pay As You Go” budgeting – no more deficit spending.

2007:

After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.

- New Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 01/04/2007

2008:

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.

- Barack Obama July 3, 2008

We need to highlight that at every opportunity, and then use FY 2007 as our baseline.

What benefit have we received by FY 2013 spending being 40% larger than FY 2007 spending?

Make the Democrats justify any spending that exceeds FY 2007 dollar amounts.

ITguy on February 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

The Democrat majorities (including Obama as both Senator and pResident) have done the exact opposite of keeping their promises of fiscal discipline and “no more deficit spending”

By the end of FY 2013, the Democrat majorities (including Obama as both Senator and pResident) will have created the 6 Biggest Deficits in US history.

By the end of FY 2013, the Democrat majorities (including Obama as both Senator and pResident) will have added more than $8 Trillion to the total national debt (nearly doubling it from $9 Trillion to over $17 Trillion) in just 6 Fiscal Years (FY 2008-2013).

And if you look at just the Debt held by the Public, the Democrats have already WELL MORE THAN DOUBLED that debt!

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

The Debt Held by the Public at the end of FY 2007 was $5,049,305,502,926.48
($5.0 Trillion)

The Debt Held by the Public at the end of FY 20117 was $10,127,031,384,654.10
($10.1 Trillion)

Democrat Majorities more than doubled the Debt Held by the Public in just four fiscal years.

The Debt Held by the Public as of 2/26/2013 was $11,746,654,992,852.21
($11.7 Trillion)

Democrat Majorities have increased the Debt Held by the Public by 133% and more than $6.7 Trillion in less than five and a half years!

All after promising “Pay As You Go” budgeting – no more deficit spending.

ITguy on February 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I’m just trying to figure out how our full-time National Guard Technicians, who wear a military uniform to work every day, are about to get a 20% pay cut when their Active Duty counterparts that they work along side every day are not. (DISCLAIMER: I am one of those Technicians about to have my pay slashed, with a wife that lost her job three months ago and two kids).

I’m also wondering why my own personal 20% share of these “draconian” cuts is so much higher than other agencies (or roughly 15x the percentage of cuts in general), including our elected representatives in Congress and the White House, who aren’t taking a pay cut at all. I guess my salary is less important than fully funding studies on male prostitution in Brazil, or giving F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or hiring 100,000 new IRS employees to handle the Obamacare implementation.

And finally, I feel that I am doing my job to the best of my ability, yet I am having to pay out of pocket (literally) for a consequence of someone else in Congress and the White House not doing theirs. At the very least, there should be parity in the cuts to my pay and theirs. Wasn’t it President Obama that talked up the idea of “shared sacrifice”? Sounds like a plan, bub. Oh, but that counts up until it hits these elitists in D.C. in their own pocketbook.

Chuckie on February 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Chuckie on February 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

If you are willing to sacrifice your anonymity, you would be a good guest on Hannity (TV or radio) or Rush Limbaugh.

The public needs to hear how Obama’s claims of “shared sacrifice” are lies, and his lies are hurting those who have given of themselves to serve this country.

ITguy on February 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

ITguy on February 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I wish I could, but I probably can’t.

Another problem with highlighting what’s happening to me and my fellow troops is that it falls right into Obama’s fear-mongering right along with all of the teachers, children, elderly, and fire fighters that are supposedly going to be homeless come tomorrow. It’s just in my case that the cuts are very real, and it’s not just a loss of service or not having paper clips for the rest of the year. I agree that cuts need to happen, and I’m trying not to be a NIMBY about this, but I just don’t understand how the thousands of National Guard troops across the country are getting screwed while other pet projects and salaries of Washington VIPs keep their full funding.

My biggest problem with what is going on is that someone above me chose to come after my salary instead of cutting the budget somewhere else. Two hours of flight time for one of our fighters would pay for the cut to my salary this year. I’d gladly rather fly two less hours in 2013 than take a 20% pay cut. Unfortunately, that won’t work, though. Guess why? They are cutting our flight time down as well. So somewhere out there, other projects and salaries aren’t getting cut at all or may even be expanding at my expense. This kind of stuff will happen throughout the Army and Air National Guard.

Chuckie on February 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I just don’t understand how the thousands of National Guard troops across the country are getting screwed while other pet projects and salaries of Washington VIPs keep their full funding.

I believe that is very much by design. Democrats have always wanted to cut our military, and are doing it in the most painful way they can.

And while Republicans in the Senate are preparing a bill that would allow the Joint Chiefs more control over where the cuts are made, Obama vowed today to veto that bill if it is sent to him.

ITguy on February 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Nothing bad will happen in the next month – which is bad. Because it becomes the boy who cried wolf. And he was so public about it even the low info voter heard about it. You can only cry wolf so long before it bites you in the a**. And Obama can’t have his hands too bloodied. It requires the Senate to carry his water and Reid realizes that this president is never going to be elected again but he (Reid) has an election in 2016 which he can win if he just keeps quiet. So the Senate will not be out front.
…………………………….
The problem with your take is that zero,his handlers, has already seen to it that bad things will happen no matter what. Wheter they should have or not.
People have already been laid off in advance of the sequester. Illegals have been let out of jail, who knows what else.You can bet we shall find out about after March 1. As if funding was magically cut off then.
You can bet lots of things will happen. Not because they had to but becuase politically it helps the regime.

rodguy911 on February 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Nope. I certainly understand your concern but Obama is already walking back the threats – there are sound bites of him saying that you won’t feel any pain right away. Just in the last 24 hours. Other dems are kind of mimicking his notes. He is now talking about some pain in the future. In order to fan the flames you have to keep feeding the beast oxygen. It’s gone.

But for him the pain has to be apparent at the time he whips up the crazies and he has already lost that – Woodward kills his sequester narrative – completely – he owns it. So he will not do many more stupid things like the illegal release. The extortionist has been exposed.

The other thing the WH is now worried about is how the other part of Woodward plays out. Right now the narrative is that Bob is just overstating the threat (the WH has conceded that WOodward was correct about Obama moving goalposts and the sequester – which also now limits his options to do it again) and that this wasn’t a big deal. We know all WHs under any adminstration has at times played hardball. But Obama was above all that – remember? What if the narrative comes of one where he belatedly gets some defenders – he has them and they are slowly coming forward. Once the emperor is exposed as having no clothes it is difficult to sell that he does.

I expect Obama to have better than even odds on handling this – but remember – he has no coattails and he isn’t running again. The economy sucks and is getting worse – the tax hike took more steam out than anyone realizes – and Europe is getting ready to explode again because the Italians are tired of their Euro overlords. When you are swimming with sharks, you cannot bleed – not the littlest bit. He is applying his bandage quickly, if it doesn’t hold he is in big trouble and could cost the dems the Senate in 2014. Don’t think Reid hasn’t thought a whole bunch about that.

Zomcon JEM on February 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM

We have to pass sequester to know what’s in it.

Connecticut on February 28, 2013 at 4:09 PM

HotAirLib on February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Every time you post I am reminded of how my children would act by running up to adults in the middle of a conversation and butting in with some irrelevant drivel, all in an effort to get noticed. By the time they reached the age of four however we had taught them manners. Obviously your parent(s) failed. Miserably.

manyears on February 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Its a game of “pass the turd”. Its a shame it would be impossible to wipe all offices clean and start anew rather than piece-meal electioning people out. The career politicians are wrecking this place.

johnnyU on February 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

What if it’s not really about the sequester?

It’s not. It is about the principle and precedent of making real cuts in immediately planned government spending, spending that would take place in coming months, however small. Instead of the “we won’t spend as much in 2016″ kind of faux “spending cut”.

Big government socialists fear it like the Wicked Witch of the West feared water.

farsighted on February 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Correct, it’s not about the sequester, it’s about breaking the ratchet. We have to break the ratchet if we are ever going to heal the damage proggies have done.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2013 at 6:24 PM

You realize that Q1 GDP manipulation is going to nearly coincide with the ‘budget’ drama, and after the sequester is blamed for a month of bad numbers.

The dominoes are lining up for the machine. If people aren’t ready to refute, it’s going to be an ugly April. Expecting Q1 GDP to be flat or even negative (which is why Q4 2012 was always going to be revised up, avoiding, literally, a recession).

John Kettlewell on March 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM