Video: Behold the destructive power of this sequester, or something

posted at 2:31 pm on April 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

We have now gone five weeks into the sequester, and had all the pre-trigger hysteria been even close to correct, our nation’s capital should have looked something like a cross between Grapes of Wrath and Soylent Green.  (“The federal budget is people!!!“) Reason’s Kennedy visits Washington DC to discover how cutting the rate of increase in federal spending has reduced the Beltway to a post-apocalyptic existence, perhaps with Tina Turner in charge of Capitaldome — two parties enter, one party leave.

Instead, it looks like business as usual everywhere but the White House, which is refusing to conduct tours while the Obamas vacation and campaign just as they always do.  It’s good to know that some things never change …

Before sequestration began on March 1, President Barack Obama warned that budget trims of up to $85 billion in 2013 would force brutal and devastating shutdowns of programs related to everything from vaccination to school lunches. The director of the National Zoo told the Washington Post he feared he might have to shut down popular exhibits featuring lions and tigers.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told travelers to expect much longer lines at airports due to cuts for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The White House even cancelled tours of the president’s home.

So just how brutal is post-sequester life in the nation’s capital now that as much as 2 percent of annual federal spending is on the chopping block?

Well, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh.  After all, Barack Obama offered to share in the pain of federal workers by voluntarily cutting his pay 5%.  That didn’t impress Dana Milbank, who wondered why Obama isn’t parting with the other 95%:

Federal workers face unpaid furloughs because of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. That’s a serious economic hardship for many middle-class families, and whether or not Obama intended for it to happen, it’s a direct result of a bill he signed into law.

And so the White House announced that Obama, “to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants,” would return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury. The gesture, matched by several Cabinet members, was meant to be roughly the same percentage by which domestic agencies are being cut. But the amount — $20,000 of his $400,000 salary — is so little for a man made wealthy by his political fame that it comes across as patronizing.

Obama and his wife reported income of $8 million in his first three years in office, largely from royalties on his memoirs, which were best-sellers because of his political fame. And the Obamas will soon go from rich to filthy rich. Bill Clinton earned $89 million in speaking feesin his first 11 years out of the White House, according to an analysis of disclosures done last year by CNN. Clinton received an average of $189,000 per appearance — a record that Obama will be in a good position to match after his presidency ends.

For a man worth millions and soon to be worth tens of millions of dollars, $20,000 is not much of a sacrifice.

So what should Obama get paid for all the hard work he puts into being President? Oddly, Milbank puts that value at about the same level as most Hot Air readers:

During World Wars I and II, there were “dollar-a-year men” who left lucrative private-sector careers to serve their country in Washington. If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ “sacrifice,” he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary. When he leaves office, he’ll be able to earn it back with a couple days’ work.

At least that would symbolically have the buck stopping with Obama.  That’s about the only way it does, though.

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

Cohen, the otherwise Obama-buttkisser, insulted him too, for good reasons.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

If the Obama administration appeals Korman’s ruling, it could re-ignite a simmering cultural battle over women’s reproductive health — never far from the surface in American politics — sidetracking the president just as he’s trying to keep Congress and the public focused on gun control, immigration and resolving the nation’s budget woes.

Distract, distract, distract the fools.

The election is over but the campaining continues. He knows nothing else.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Milbank: The buck should stop with Obama — and that’s all.

Milbank: The buck should stop with Obama — and that’s all.

Milbank: The buck should stop with Obama — and that’s all.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Instead, it looks like business as usual everywhere but the White House, which is refusing to conduct tours while the Obamas vacation and campaign just as they always do. It’s good to know that some things never change …

Michelle Obama, er Madame de Pompadour, can’t be bothered with the barbarians.

She is a “busy single mother” in case you haven’t heard.

It’s the “busy” that is so frucking hilarious.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

PC will kill all.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

The first casualty of sequestration should’ve been the microphone of the Affirmative Action train-rider, Bolshevik filth.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

mAo would have a royal cow if bho did give up 95%, she probably is ticked off bho gave up 5%?
L

letget on April 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Fox news just celebrated the job ‘improvements’ and said that new taxes are in order.

Boycott the fools. They are CNN now.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Never assume anything positive as a premise from Obama, not positive for you or the US anyway.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:39 PM

“We’s overcome” — Michelle to Barack

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Fox news just celebrated the job ‘improvements’ and said that new taxes are in order.

Boycott the fools. They are CNN now.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

The Fox News light went out at my house, a long time ago.

You are dead-on.

We have no voice on cable television.

As a matter of fact, and in something completely unrelated to their hell-bent-for-leather swing to the Left … I told my brother, a few months ago, that the Fox News gals were beginning to look like the Village of the Damned.

The Fox News gals

OhEssYouCowboys on April 6, 2013 at 2:46 PM

OEYC, coming soon.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:49 PM

perhaps with Tina Turner in charge of Capitaldome — two parties enter, one party leave.

The real CapitalDome: Two dollars enter, one dollar leaves

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ “sacrifice,” he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary.

I’d be satisfied if all he gave was a damn.

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Kennedy visits Washington DC to discover how cutting the rate of increase in federal spending has reduced the Beltway to a post-apocalyptic existence, perhaps with Tina Turner in charge of Capitaldome — two parties enter, one party leave.

heh!! masterful

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

The director of the National Zoo told the Washington Post he feared he might have to shut down popular exhibits featuring lions and tigers.

b…b…but, what about the bears???

Lions? Tigers???? BEARS???

oh my….

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Unlike most of you partisans, I insisted that the GOP would hold true to the sequester. Most of you thought that the GOP would cave. I didn’t. Jeez peeps, have the ba**s to admit it when you were wrong. And I was right again. Lol. Wanna take future bets? Don’t bet against me, you’ll lose.

tommy71 on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

The White House even cancelled tours of the president’s home.

I’m sure that the host and the hostess are just devastated….or something.

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Only in the most foolish nation in the world would its reprobate leaders propose a small reduction in an automatic increase and sound the alarm that the sky is falling.

Only in the most ignorant and imbecilic nation on earth would the electorate of a dangerous regime like this would wolf down the propaganda fed them and say, “seconds please.”

I give us 5 years.

tom daschle concerned on April 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM

But the amount — $20,000 of his $400,000 salary — is so little for a man made wealthy by his political fame that it comes across as patronizing.

Patronizing isn’t quite the word that I would use in this instance……….

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Cohen, the otherwise Obama-buttkisser, insulted him too, for good reasons.

[Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM]

Maybe good reasons for Cohen, which is sweet, sweet irony considering they are otherwise philosophical bedmates, and it’s great to see Obama supporters rub the hypocrisy in his face.

But I don’t subscribe to the Left’s philosophy, so Cohen’s arguments fall on deaf ears here.

Dusty on April 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

I don’t know what hubbub is. The Tigers just signed Verlander to a 7 year, $200M contract, so there must be lots of……

Oh…wrong tigers.

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ “sacrifice,” he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary.

sacrifice is for the rest of us….

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Closing the White House to tours was simple spite. Since Obama couldn’t get back at the Republicans for not caving, he needs to lash out. Expect more, like the most popular exhibits at the National Zoo. Why not closing the least popular of them instead; isn’t that where ‘scarce’ dollars are ‘wasted’?

Expect more of the same, once summer kicks in. Closing national parks, maybe some monuments in Washington — the vindictive possibilities are endless for a slime like Obama.

Liam on April 6, 2013 at 3:10 PM

That didn’t impress Dana Milbank, who wondered why Obama isn’t parting with the other 95%:

Geez, dude. He still has to pay for his own green fees and stuff.

RadClown on April 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Every single person in DC knows exactly why the WH tours were cancelled as soon as the chance arose: Michelle Obama. She did not like the idea of riffraff running around her house.

pat on April 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

And the Obamas will soon go from rich filthy to filthy rich.

FIFY.

petefrt on April 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM

The real CapitalDome: Two dollars enter, one dollar leaves

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

one dollar tries to leave but pays 90% tax at the door leaving……….….just one dime.

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Liam on April 6, 2013 at 3:10 PM

The Obama are very indecent scum.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The Obamas will live the lives of .0001%rs, based on nada.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Instead, it looks like business as usual everywhere but the White House, which is refusing to conduct tours while the Obamas vacation and campaign just as they always do. It’s good to know that some things never change …

LoLz..Excellent point..Shame on Obie..:)

Dire Straits on April 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

sacrifice is for the rest of us….

ted c on April 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Unless you are giving a speech with teleprompters..:)..:)

Dire Straits on April 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Unlike most of you partisans, I insisted that the GOP would hold true to the sequester. Most of you thought that the GOP would cave. I didn’t. Jeez peeps, have the ba**s to admit it when you were wrong. And I was right again. Lol. Wanna take future bets? Don’t bet against me, you’ll lose.

tommy71 on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

You have a short p@nis. That is so clear.

CW on April 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Fox news just celebrated the job ‘improvements’ and said that new taxes are in order.

Boycott the fools. They are CNN now.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

That’s odd. Everyone I saw on Foxnews last night and this morning pretty much said the opposite.

BallisticBob on April 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

All hail SWalker, the great and powerful destroyer of all things mechanical…

So…. Tell me about your week… What have you mere puny mortals destroyed this week… O_O

SWalker on April 6, 2013 at 4:02 PM

And I was right again.

tommy71 on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Well, aren’t you just…”special”.

Bless your heart.

Solaratov on April 6, 2013 at 4:02 PM

…just quit using Air Force One…for one fluken week!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

CW on April 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Gotta be a put-on. Nobody, other than leftists and trucons, is so full of themself.

(Maybe his girlfriend dumped him and he’s compensating. lol)

Solaratov on April 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

CW on April 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Gotta be a put-on. Nobody, other than leftists and trucons, is so full of themself.

(Maybe his girlfriend dumped him and he’s compensating. lol)

Solaratov on April 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

ROTFLMAO… More like he is Bishoping you… :P

SWalker on April 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Amusement in the Low-IQ Democrat WaPo Comments. First, a Voice of Sanity, i.e. a Rethuglican:

And here is the real kicker…. the person Obama and most on this board most vilified last years as rich and out of touch, Mitt Romney, gave his whole salary back as Gov. …. did the job for free.

O’bama-Phone Voter weakly responds:

Romney is worth several billion dollars. So whatever salary he got was nothing to him.

Ouch!

Del Dolemonte on April 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Here’s an even better idea: Why doesn’t OBOZO give back 5% of the $1,400,000,000 he and his family leeches off us taxpayers each year to support their imperial reign? That would be $70,000,000. (Perhaps a few of OBOZO’s CRONY CAPITALISTS – like buffett – could kick in a few of those millions as pay-back for all they’ve gotten in tax money.)

TeaPartyNation on April 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

perhaps with Tina Turner in charge of Capitaldome — two parties enter, one party leave.

The real CapitalDome: Two dollars enter, one dollar leaves

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

No, two dollars enter. Then Congress asks for 2 more dollars.

talkingpoints on April 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM

$1 a year would be okay if he also stopped taking vacations and golf outings on the public dime. Tell MO she’s gotta take a staycation this year.

myiq2xu on April 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Unlike most of you partisans, I insisted that the GOP would hold true to the sequester. Most of you thought that the GOP would cave. I didn’t. Jeez peeps, have the ba**s to admit it when you were wrong. And I was right again. Lol. Wanna take future bets? Don’t bet against me, you’ll lose.

tommy71 on April 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Um, exactly wtf is wrong with you? Is it just today, or are you always an insufferable asshole? Did you sleep with bayam or libfreeordie and get infected with something to make you such an outspoken moron, gleefully putting your bitter, sh1t-filled core on display?

And you’re obviously impressed with yourself for some reason. You really shouldn’t be.

Midas on April 6, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Instead, it looks like business as usual everywhere but the White House, which is refusing to conduct tours while the Obamas vacation and campaign just as they always do.

Had to go look at who wrote this – seemed a wee early for AP. ;)

Some good blogging since you’ve returned, Ed.

kim roy on April 6, 2013 at 5:13 PM

USA, USA, USA!!!

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi — whom the Obama team has cited as an economic authority when he favored their policies — attributes the weak jobs report not to the sequester cuts, but to the fact that Obamacare deters hiring at companies that have between 50 and 499 employees.

Of course.

CW on April 6, 2013 at 6:29 PM

The director of the National Zoo told the Washington Post he feared he might have to shut down popular exhibits featuring lions and tigers.

And do what, shoot ‘em? Sell them on ebay? What a crock. Anyone willfully taking part in this BS should be summarily fired for dishonesty and trying to defraud the American people..

jnelchef on April 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM

And do what, shoot ‘em? Sell them on ebay? What a crock. Anyone willfully taking part in this BS should be summarily fired for dishonesty and trying to defraud the American people..

jnelchef on April 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM

They should hide the donkeys.

CW on April 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Hey! Barry is “sharing the pain”…..and you can bet he’ll take a $20k deduction on his next tax return.

GarandFan on April 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Hey! Barry is “sharing the pain”…..and you can bet he’ll take a $20k deduction on his next tax return.

GarandFan on April 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

DoD civilians are getting their furlough letters on Monday. They face a 20% loss in salary for the rest of the fiscal year. The rat-eared devil is taking a 5% cut in pay in solidarity with the workers. Not even close.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM

During World Wars I and II, there were “dollar-a-year men” who left lucrative private-sector careers to serve their country in Washington. If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ “sacrifice,” he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary. When he leaves office, he’ll be able to earn it back with a couple days’ work.

Given that the dollar-a-year men were CEOs and such — the captains of industry — they were subject to a 95% income tax during the war, so we could say that they actually gave back only 5% of their salary — the rest was already in the Government’s pockets.

The whole business of off the books perks — such as President Obama’s vacations and ability to speak on the public dime — stem from those days. It was a way of turning a dollar into a lot more.

There are a lot of ways for speaker fees to be sheltered — for example, you can provide speech as a figurehead of your favorite foundation — such as OFA — and not be subject to the taxes associated with said speech. I doubt Mr. Obama would like to close those loopholes….

unclesmrgol on April 6, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Obama should also give back all he stole, wasted, grafted to cronies, mooched via vacations, and gained through fraud (his bogus “memoirs”).

And then should have to pay for all of the damage he has caused through his reckless policies, nationally and globally.

That should absorb all of his future phony exorbitant “speaking” fees and fake “directorships”, “consultancies” ad absurdum.

He’s a Three Card Monty scam-monger and an orange jumpsuit is all he has really earned.

profitsbeard on April 7, 2013 at 2:38 AM

If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ “sacrifice,” he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary.

Yeah! It’s not like he has to pay rent or buy a metro card or groceries or utilities or concert tickets or something. Our king lives well. The really crazy thing is he’s going to get filthy rich being paid by people who want to watch him read a speech off a teleprompter. Isn’t there enough vid of him doing that now? He says the same thing over and over anyway.

Kissmygrits on April 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Rush was talking about the Obama political cult being undone by some stupid event that suddenly causes the low-information voter to see him as full of it and turn in enough numbers to cause his downfall. One thing like that would be if he lost one of his myths like being an average Joe. Milbank is encouraging Obama to do something like refuse pay to insulate him from all the charges he is out of touch and vacations like a Rockefeller. I am not sure Milbank is wrong about this.

Conan on April 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM