Video: How to win the Sequestrocalypse

posted at 9:21 am on March 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Check the window.  Did the sun rise in the east this morning?  The big blue marble still spinning on its axis? Via The Corner, Charles Krauthammer explains how Republicans now have the upper hand in the Nightmare on Sequester Street hysteria, thanks to Barack Obama’s wildly overshoot on doomsaying.  That doesn’t mean they can hang onto that edge, however, and Krauthammer advises Republicans to make sure that Obama has to reject the authority to adjust spending to cover priorities to show just what kind of game Obama has played:

In his column today, Krauthammer spells out Obama’s strategy in greater detail:

Hence the president’s message. If the “sequestration” — automatic spending cuts— goes into effect, the skies will fall. Plane travel jeopardized, carrier groups beached, teachers furloughed. And a shortage of junk-touching TSA agents.

The Obama administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity — cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

A 2011 Government Accountability Officereport gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion-$200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It’s firemen first. That’s the phrase coined in 1976 by legendary Washington Monthly editor Charlie Peters to describe the way government functionaries beat back budget cuts. Dare suggest a nick in the city budget, and the mayor immediately shuts down the firehouse. The DMV back office, stacked with nepotistic incompetents, remains intact. Shrink it and no one would notice. Sell the firetruck — the people scream and the city council falls silent about any future cuts.

Krauthammer’s not the only one noticing that the lack of Armageddon has made the hysteria strategy a problem now for Obama.  National Journal’s Michael Catalini says Obama’s political gamble on sequestration is backfiring big time:

But even as Obama proclaims dire consequences from the cuts, he is already hedging his bets.

“The impact of this policy won’t be felt overnight, but it will be real,” the president said.

This was a key concession. With further skirmishes over the debt ceiling and government funding not far off, the White House finds itself in choppy political waters for the first time since Obama won reelection. Its best-case political course hinges on the economy screeching to a halt, assumes that Republicans will again cave on revenues, and relies on the public being on his side. It’s a political gamble that could go bust. …

“There’s real risk in saying that the sky is falling … especially if you consider that sequestration is structured to come in slowly,” said William Galston, a former adviser to President Clinton who is now with the Brookings Institution. “If after three weeks people look around and the sky is where it traditionally has been. … he has to be careful he doesn’t get too far out on that limb.”

It’s already too late for that.  Arne Duncan’s face plant this week gave up the demagogic nature of this strategy, and the press finally noticed it.  With the “fireman first” approach wobbling, a bill granting Obama authority to adjust allocated funding within departments to cover higher priorities will drive a stake through its heart.  If Obama vetoes it or the Senate refuses to pass it, House Republicans can rightly say that Democrats want to damage those efforts for cheap political gain.  If Obama signs it, then he owns the pain that results from a “fireman first” strategy.


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The sun is coming up in California…

“Dog and cats, living together!”

Can we raise taxes now??????????

Khun Joe on March 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Stay calm and carry on

cmsinaz on March 1, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Did you say 56 dealing with financial literacy????

Oh Damn. Stop the sequester!!!

WryTrvllr on March 1, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Can we raise taxes now??????????

Khun Joe on March 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM


California gasoline tax to jump by 3.5 cents a gallon July 1

BallisticBob on March 1, 2013 at 9:28 AM

I’m convinced the world is ending. Girls Gone Wild has filed for bankruptcy, which is a sure sign that the adult entertainment industry is in its death throes of economic collapse.

Tomorrow and the day after, lemonty-leven squillion kids won’t get their school lunches.

While there are only 150 million workers in the country, 170 million jobs will be gone by midnight. The twenty million people making up that difference in numbers are those who will lose their jobs twice.

No zombies running loose yet. But like Obama says, some things are going to take a while.

We’re doomed, I tells ya! Doomed!

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Hey Maxine

How about those 170 million jobs doing?

Janet not taking responsibility for the illegals released

cmsinaz on March 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

56 dealing with financial literacy

These people are teaching financial literacy? What could go wrong?

Naturally Curly on March 1, 2013 at 9:32 AM

California gasoline tax to jump by 3.5 cents a gallon July 1

BallisticBob on March 1, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Yeah, but that’s no big deal since gas is so cheap right now, especially in California.

/

Doughboy on March 1, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Over half of the country can’t spell Sequester or know the definition, let alone recognize cheap politics.

docflash on March 1, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Tell your tales of #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Oh nooooes! The security line at LaGuardia stretches all the way to Philadelphia! #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

All NYC schoolchildren were fed fried pencil shavings on shredded-paper biscuits for breakfast. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

All Fed employees will B forced 2 suffer by receiving the wages &bennies rec’d by their counterparts in the private sec. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Michelle will have to do her own organic gardening. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Hank Johnson’s Guam stabilisation project abandoned!!! #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Dennis Kuchnich & Shirley Maclaine R org a Million Ghosts of the Poorhouses March. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Obama will have to reuse his basketballs. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Turtle tunnels are closed while toll booths are installed. #Sequestersquatch

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Obots, devastated by sequester, are heading off to a new “conference centre.” #Sequestersquatch pic.twitter.com/XSs4TwAY3f

Sophie Ro ‏@SophieRo3

Just ran into a photog from the National Enquirer. He’s looking for #Sesquestersquatch

Resist We Much on March 1, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Let’s lay off any federal worker with ‘diversity’ in their job title. There’s some easy money right there.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Two days ago, Sen. Casey sent out a mass email warning that planes would be falling from the skies over PA today, but so far there’s only a little snow.

petefrt on March 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

56 dealing with financial literacy

That right there is funny !
One for each and every economic theory. And then some.

And explains the mess we are in !

And here I thought it was math. Silly me.

Jabberwock on March 1, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Two days ago, Sen. Casey sent out a mass email warning that planes would be falling from the skies over PA today, but so far there’s only a little snow.

petefrt on March 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Odd. that’s what happened with a budget surplus. Can’t let that happen again. / \ whatever

WryTrvllr on March 1, 2013 at 9:44 AM

56 dealing with financial literacy?

Make Obummer attend one!

KS Rex on March 1, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Yahoo! is running a story about how bad the ‘cuts’ are going to be for everyone, the real pain kicking in after April. Reading it, I got an impression the writer took himself way too seriously.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Can we raise taxes now??????????

Khun Joe on March 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I’d like to see Republicans advance some smart ‘tax increases’, like taxing municipal bonds. Call it ‘closing the Pelosi loophole’.

Let’s also look at those monstrous endowment funds at the Ivy Leagues.

Let’s look at the billionaire’s favorite loophole, the Family Trust.

I could also go for ending the federal deductibility of greedy union dues. There’s no reason that the rest of us should write checks to the greedy unions for what has essentially become the democratic party’s contribution honeypot.

Let’s end the federal deductibility of state and local income taxes. Why should Americans all over the nation be subsidizing the poorly-run democratic-party states?

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Boehner gets the Pen

drivingtheview on March 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM

What’s that old saying, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time” ie: Abraham Lincoln. I predict that at the end of this administration 2nd term, the love affair that’s been going on will dwindle and “The People” will realize what a scam the last eight years have been.

fistbump on March 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

if this hasn’t taught the voters that their leaders are a bunch of mal-educated idiots nothing will.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I’m surprise Mzz.Fluke doesn’t come forward and state the the Sequestration could lead to her getting pregnant.

BL@KBIRD on March 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Too complicated. It would just be easier if employers sent a worker’s pay to Washington, and the Feds doled out a monthly stipend to the wage earner based on the government’s needs.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM

the love affair that’s been going on will dwindle and “The People” will realize what a scam the last eight years have been.

fistbump on March 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

there is no “love affiar” nver has been. It’s amedia creation. that makes everyone afraid to speak out. The “people” already know this. They just didn’t see a reason to replace a new scam with the old one on nov 6th 2012.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM

It would just be easier if employers sent a worker’s pay to Washington, and the Feds doled out a monthly stipend to the wage earner based on the government’s needs.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM

isn’t that what an income tax is?

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Yahoo! is running a story about how bad the ‘cuts’ are going to be for everyone, the real pain kicking in after April. Reading it, I got an impression the writer took himself way too seriously.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Yahoo has been in the tank for Obama for years. They’ve been linking articles from HuffPo and The Daily Beast and presenting them as real news for God’s sake.

Doughboy on March 1, 2013 at 9:52 AM

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I would like to see the GOP advance some stupid tax cuts. The kind of stupid ones that EVERYONE can understand and feel.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:52 AM

isn’t that what an income tax is?

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Similar, but not the same. The government takes full charge of a worker’s pay, by the employer sending the whole paycheck to Washington where it can then be better managed. The idea of doing that with IRAs is already being discussed in Washington.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

So far, so good. House hasn’t burnt to the ground yet.

I’m ready for the Campaign’s next fake emergency.

forest on March 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I’m surprise Mzz.Fluke doesn’t come forward and state the the Sequestration could lead to her getting pregnant.

BL@KBIRD on March 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

No….there’s still a sales tax on beer.

WryTrvllr on March 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Maybe we can have just ONE day without Oblahblah’s face on my tee vee.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Similar, but not the same. The government takes full charge of a worker’s pay, by the employer sending the whole paycheck to Washington where it can then be better managed. The idea of doing that with IRAs is already being discussed in Washington.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

same thing they are doing now except they will simply allow you to keep less. Because of the income tax the government already thinks it has full control over your pay and they are juist letting you keep some of it.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Because of the income tax the government already thinks it has full control over your pay and they are juist letting you keep some of it.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Keep? I thought I was only borrowing it from them, given how all Dems and many RINOs talk these days. *L*

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Keep? I thought I was only borrowing it from them, given how all Dems and many RINOs talk these days. *L*

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

lol so true.. sadly

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM

So, we have to grin and bear today until tonight at 11.59pm…

Oh I can’t bear it!

The suspense is killing me!

What kind of last minute deal will come forth at the last moment?

I shall be watching the skies for falling ‘planes…

Top ‘o’ the morning to all!!

Scrumpy on March 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Key West Reader on March 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM

That would be a miracle… ;-)

Scrumpy on March 1, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Too bad it took TARP the Stimulus, various debt ceiling emergencies, the Fiscal Cliff… I know I’m forgetting some, for a few people to start to catch on that this constant state of emergency is just a ploy to take more tax money and needlessly grow the government. Dammit. How much money could we have saved if people hadn’t believed the hooey, bunk and hype?

Fallon on March 1, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Dammit. How much money could we have saved if people hadn’t believed the hooey, bunk and hype?

Fallon on March 1, 2013 at 10:02 AM

trillions. The great society and all that.

unseen on March 1, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Well, Obama can hold a fundraiser in Hollywood, and maybe a bunch of old musicians can hold a telethon. If they play their cards right, Bill Clinton might show up and play saxophone.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I hope there are just enough Media to continue the hype so that The Won will continue to overreach.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Keep Calm and Sequester On…

d1carter on March 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I’m surprise Mzz.Fluke doesn’t come forward and state the the Sequestration could lead to her getting pregnant.

BL@KBIRD on March 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Fortunately, the Sequester coincides with the Global Saltpeter Celebration.

Resist We Much on March 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Not to be a pessimist, but I’m pretty sure the Democrats are going to win the PR battle on this, just like they win it on everything else. They have the bully pulpit of the presidency and the media on their side. Under those circumstances, facts don’t matter.

LukeinNE on March 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Resist We Much on March 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Good one RWM! Lol… :-)

Scrumpy on March 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I feel most sorry for the 170 million people who will be out of work after midnight, unless things change…

It’s so sad…

To think that there are such idiotic people in our gov’t…

Scrumpy on March 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

We’ve won the battle but were losing the war.

America is lost.

Welcome Euro-USA…

Skywise on March 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Fortunately, the Sequester coincides with the Global Saltpeter Celebration.

Resist We Much on March 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM

A good time, indeed, for the women of Islam.

Jabberwock on March 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Can I blame the sequester on my very crappy day at work so far?

gophergirl on March 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Even the local news libs and lib organization shills are in on the game today; top of the hour local ABC news had three stories about how the sequester was going to destroy children and puppies locally when food banks, animal shelters, and more all get hammered as their funding goes away, and they suffer an onslaught of new people needing their free services when they lose their jobs because of the sequester, etc.

Good grief.

Midas on March 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

I’m surprise Mzz.Fluke doesn’t come forward and state the the Sequestration could lead to her getting pregnant.

BL@KBIRD on March 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

No….there’s still a sales tax on beer.

WryTrvllr on March 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM

There’s not that much beer in the whole country.

Solaratov on March 1, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Can I blame the sequester on my very crappy day at work so far?

gophergirl on March 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Only if you voted for Obama twice, and are willing to do so again.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 10:31 AM

To think that there are such idiotic people in our gov’t…

Scrumpy on March 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

…and we’re paying money to keep them there.

Solaratov on March 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Only if you voted for Obama twice, and are willing to do so again.

Liam on March 1, 2013 at 10:31 AM

dammit!

gophergirl on March 1, 2013 at 10:46 AM

You can’t ignore or spin the fact that Obama was the one who created this crisis, and Republicans were right to let it happen no matter what Obama says on his campaign trail. The Congress should continue to follow normal order which the Senate and the President has neglected to do. Spending has to originate from the House, passed by the Senate and sent to the President who has veto power. No more backroom deals.

lea on March 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Dear Barky,

Don’t worry. We’ve got this.

XOXOXOXOXO,

the LSM

/journOlist.

bofh on March 1, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Sequestrocalpyse

Check the window. Did the sun rise in the east this morning? The big blue marble still spinning on its axis?

The sun isn’t rising! It’s the end of the world! Oh no!

Well, it was nice knowing all of you.

Nephew Sam on March 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM

We need a stronger Speaker who will speak to the nation every week and say, the President can determine what is cut and he values XYZ over firemen, etc.

For example, he has a man who takes care of his dog for 100k per year. That;s a cut!
millions of dollars for every family vacation all over the world that he and Moochelle take. That’s a cut!
Numerous scientific funding of just plain dumb experiments! Plenty of cuts.

Boehner needs to read off everything stupid that Obama values above the well being of the people!

jeffn21 on March 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

#Sequestersquatch was so hungry that it got into Michael Moore’s food stash. Mike’s left with only 8,000 calories to eat today. :-(

Resist We Much on March 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Listening to this idio now and it’s the end of the World by the sound of it

BallisticBob on March 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Obama just gave us all a 2 percent tax increase in January and told us to shut up and get over it.
Now they want to complain about a 2 percent cut to their spending – shut up and get over it.

J_Crater on March 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

56 dealing with financial literacy

Which state didn’t get their financial literacy program? Texas?

LoganSix on March 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I’d like to see Republicans advance some smart ‘tax increases’, like taxing municipal bonds. Call it ‘closing the Pelosi loophole’.

Let’s also look at those monstrous endowment funds at the Ivy Leagues.

Let’s look at the billionaire’s favorite loophole, the Family Trust.

I could also go for ending the federal deductibility of greedy union dues. There’s no reason that the rest of us should write checks to the greedy unions for what has essentially become the democratic party’s contribution honeypot.

Let’s end the federal deductibility of state and local income taxes. Why should Americans all over the nation be subsidizing the poorly-run democratic-party states?

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I would support most of these, but on the last one “I got a pig”.
(Old Soviet joke).

AesopFan on March 1, 2013 at 11:31 PM

56 dealing with financial literacy

Which state didn’t get their financial literacy program? Texas?

LoganSix on March 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Um, at the moment, Texas seems to be the State that got the highest grade.
Probably left out DC (considering who lives there).

AesopFan on March 1, 2013 at 11:33 PM

It would be interesting to hear from government accountants about the ability of the federal government to actually spend (or cut) any funds “allocated”. These people are so incompetent that I have a hard time believing that they could execute a plan to do either.

Not saying they aren’t wasting money, but what possible focus would they have in not spending 2% less than they previously “appropriated”.

This soap is all about federal government incompetence. There is no real theoretical, economic, practical or intellectual problem to discuss. This is the the Keystone Cops running national affairs.

virgo on March 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM