President Barack Obama doesn’t agree with the Sequestration cuts that he proposed and pushed. Presumably, he felt more-or-less indifferent to the relatively minor cuts until the numbers came out at the end of the last month suggesting that the U.S. economy actually shrank. Now, the Administration is in full panic mode. They are rattling all sabers against the cages on every front. Either Obama is purposely causing a stir at the expense of the American people in order to score political points against his political opponents, or he is seriously the worst manager that has ever resided in the White House.
To begin with, it is important to note that ever since the Democrats took office, they have refused to pass a budget. Thus, in reality these aren’t budget cuts, but instead decreases in planned future spending. The Sequestration represents a 2% cut in the ten year average of federal spending. Although the President doesn’t have cart blanche to cut where he wants, he does have the ability to prioritize within departments. So, as Andrew Napolitano has pointed out, the 2% cut doesn’t mean that the President must now hire only 98 soldiers where he planned to hire 100. It simply means that he must prioritize a military budget. So, maybe instead of keeping so many soldiers based in Germany, we reallocate them to hot spots.
It is also worth pointing out that the overall military budget will remain larger this year than it was last year by most estimates. It is simply planned increases that will be cut. This is the case in most areas. Thus furlough notices going out are a conscious decision by the White House and not a budget necessity.
Obama is attempting to make these cuts as painful as possible, rather than as comfortable as possible. Take for instance Obama’s speech in the Tidewater area of Virginia earlier this week. Obama stood in front of an aircraft carrier and warned that he was choosing not to order the U.S.S. Harry Truman into the Persian Gulf, where it was admittedly needed, because the funds were not available to allocate. Hmm…..
Keep in mind that when Obama suggested the Sequester, he required that most cuts be from the military budget.
This week, veteran journalist Bob Woodward commented, “can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” He went on to comment that neither Bush nor Clinton found themselves unable to act as Commander-in-Chief because of a budget document.
Now the Attorney General has stated that the Sequester, roughly $44-85 Billion dollars this year, or less than ten percent of the Obama Stimulus package could leave Americans less safe.
Indeed, Janet Napolitano is coming under fire after federal immigration officials who fall under the jurisdiction of DHS released HUNDREDS of detainees from immigration detention centers because of budget cuts.
Obama is threatening longer TSA lines at airports and that he may relax border patrol security.
In summation, this Administration is falling to pieces over less 2% of what he planned to spend. It is frightening how poorly Obama is managing our government. The reality is that Republicans will compromise on this before the end of March. But more importantly, just like the Balanced Budget and Emergency Control Act Sequester of 1986, this Sequester will come and go and America will survive. We all hate to see layoffs and fewer benefits but we must realize that the government, if it not going to shrink, must at least stabilize its spending habits. That is all Republicans are asking for.
Obama is going to have to start managing this government better soon or some of this grandstanding could actually lead to a true mistake such as letting the wrong criminal go or creating a hole in defense. Hopefully our leader can get his act together, stop the endless cycle of financial scaremongering, go on television and reassure us that he is up to the challenge of leading this nation.