To hear President Obama and the Cabinet officials he has been steadily trotting out like show ponies tell it, the sequester cuts cannot, must not happen, because we’ll subsequently be hit with all kinds of disasters just short of a plague of locusts. Come on, White House, get it together — I don’t know that the sequester is the best specific way to get this done either, and maybe defense-related spending is getting the short end of the stick, but not even the Department of Interior can manage their devastating, draconian budget cuts, really? It’s almost like you’re trying to tell us that the Obama administration has discovered the absolutely optimal size of the federal bureaucracy, that everything the government currently does is nothing less than essential, and that the feds know how to spend our dolla’ dolla’ bills much better than we do — so those miserly rich people better start paying up their even bigger fair share, stat!
Which is precisely why the sequester is a sort of existential crisis for the federal government: If sequestration happens and, miraculously, we manage to avoid mass calamity, that could present a real problem for President Obama’s big-liberal-government thesis that we need to hike taxes even more to pay for all of the ostensibly indispensable things the government does on our behalf, as well as make Republicans’ calls for further, substantive deficit reduction all the more reasonable.
One of Obama’s complaints has been that, by law, the sequester doesn’t afford enough flexibility in the way the cuts are implemented, but Republicans have offered up some possible solutions to that particular pickle — and yet the White House still isn’t even remotely satisfied. I wonder why that could be?
Krauthammer nails it. Via RCP, click the image to watch:
Cutting is always attractive in the abstract but in the details it rarely is because there are constituencies who get affected if you have cuts. But the cynicism of the campaign of this administration is astonishing. The assumption is that somehow at every stage of the expansion of the liberal federal government we have reached a platonic ideal and that if you cut a dollar off that, it’s as if God had devised exactly the size of government America needs and any cut leads to Armageddon.
What we’re talking about here is two cents on the dollar. Every dollar the government spends today, 35 cents is borrowed from the Chinese and others. What is going on here is ending up in a position where we borrow not 35, but 33 cents, and that is going to bring Armageddon. An example of the cynicism of this campaign, is one lobbyist for the liberal causes leading 3,000 organizations in opposing the cuts, who told The Washington Post the following: ‘The worst case scenario is the sequester hits and nothing really bad happens.’
Think of the cynicism of that. The worst case scenario is that the government makes a small, minuscule cut in spending on the way to beginning of a journey of recovery in to fiscal health, and that it doesn’t hurt us, we actually come out of it alive. And, that to them, is the worst case. It means, think of how they are weighing the national interest, which needs a cut in spending and these parochial special interests.