Yes, President Obama has seemed rather preoccupied lately — and when I say lately, I mean, oh, I don’t know — maybe the past year or so.
Speaker John Boehner noted today that Republicans are “the only ones in town who’ve offered a plan to address both the threat to our security that’s posed by the defense sequester, and the threat to our economy posed by the coming tax hike.” President Obama, on the other hand, “hasn’t lifted a finger to work with the Congress on jobs or to resolve these big issues.” Boehner noted: the president “doesn’t even have time to meet with his own jobs council. He’s just out there campaigning every day and looking for somebody else to blame.”
Does anybody else find it kind of hilarious (but I mean that in my usual “I only laugh to keep from weeping” way) that President Obama is touring the country campaigning, and the biggest platform of said campaign seems to be that we need to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 dollars? Is this really becoming the most-talked-about election-year issue? A measure that won’t even amount to a miniscule drop in the bucket of decreasing our federal deficit and will negatively impact our long-struggling economy? What is this man doing? Oh wait, I forgot, I really should be more fair — he’s also been telling crowds in Virginia, Ohio, and Florida about his plans to increase government spending, keep funding green-energy boondoggles, how Mitt Romney’s perfectly legal offshore bank account make him the most unpatriotic, deceptive rich person evah, and that enterprising American individuals should really stop being so independently-minded… so, that’s something, I guess.
Meanwhile, back in D.C., there are serious time-sensitive issues at stake. While all incumbent politicians are of course allowed to take some time to make the case for their reelection, you’re also the president of the United States — preside already.
Barring Presidential leadership soon, the Pentagon will be walloped with another deep and disproportionate funding cut—around 9% across the board, or nearly $50 billion a year for a decade. Under last year’s Budget Control Act, President Obama and Congress need to agree on new federal savings to stop these cuts from hitting on January 2.
Like an audience at a horror movie, nearly everyone paying attention is yelling “watch out!” into a political and media void. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey calls sequestration “an unacceptable risk” that will “increase the likelihood of conflict” in a world with a weaker America. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says it’s “unworkable” and “a disaster” that will “hollow out the force and inflict severe damage to our national defense.” …
Defense shouldn’t be immune from cuts, but Mr. Obama’s policy choices are turning America into an entitlement state with a shrinking military—in other words, Europe. The U.S. would be left with the smallest Navy since World War I, the smallest ground forces in 70 years, and at just over 2.5% of GDP the smallest defense budget since Pearl Harbor. …
Mr. Obama knows all this from his own Pentagon’s warnings, so why is he inviting a crack-up? The answer is that he wants to use GOP concerns about defense to bludgeon Republicans into accepting a huge tax increase. Republicans were unwise to accept the sequestration deal while leaving entitlements off the table, thus handing Mr. Obama more leverage.