It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
For all the criticism of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell we’ve witnessed over the last months, some congratulations are in order. Boehner and McConnell have Obama tied up in knots.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans’ unyielding stand against income tax increases has caught President Barack Obama and his allies off guard, resulting in the spending-cuts-only approach to deficit reduction that Democrats most wanted to avoid.
It also has dimmed hopes for broader efforts this year to start taming the costly and fast-growing “entitlement” programs of Medicare and Social Security.
The result is a new round of deficit reduction that tilts more toward Republicans’ wishes than many people would have expected after Obama won re-election with a campaign that called for higher taxes on the rich.
Democrats thought House Republicans would accept some new revenues last month to minimize military cuts and to pressure liberals to confront entitlement spending. Instead, Republicans seem more determined than ever to block tax increases on high incomes, whatever the political risk.
The scarequester strategy has failed. The Obama regime did its best to frighten America about the sequester.
Maybe more alarmingly, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget issued a press release earlier this month claiming that the cuts in federal spending “could” force reductions in food inspections, which “could” lead to outbreaks of more food-borne bacteria, such as E. coli. Administration officials and their allies are making similarly alarming claims regarding what “could” happen to workplace safety, law enforcement, and education.
Obama even canceled White House tours. The Easter Egg Roll could be on the chopping block and the Thanksgiving turkey might not be pardoned.
Meat inspectors will be furloughed but fine wines will continue to flow:
In its bid to make the sequester as painful as possible, the White House announced Tuesday that it is canceling all visitor tours of the White House “during the popular Spring touring season.” This fits President Obama’s political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping “exceptional local wines” and sampling “tasty dishes” prepared by “special guest chefs.”
Yes, even as the White House warns that the modest automatic spending cuts will force the furlough of meat inspectors, two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week.
The event will feature USDA speakers, field trips, a banquet and a tasting reception, according to the conference website. Conference organizers promise the tasting will be a “mouthwatering event” featuring “fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies.” How can we sign up?
Indeed, the Obama regime is determined to make the sequester as painful as possible.
The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.
In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.
He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”
“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican.
Obama predicted that Republicans would cave on taxes, but as a philosopher once said
They did not cave and Obama has overplayed his hand. The fallout was not what Obama anticipated.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than two months into his second term, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped and Americans blame him and his fellow Democrats almost as much as his Republican opponents for a fiscal mess.
A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.
So when the next images of Obama shanking a wedge with Tiger Woods pop up Americans will wonder why Obama’s leisure is not suffering in the least and Obama’s poll numbers will drop like a stone.
Now Obama is doing something that few could have imagined. He’s reaching out to the GOP:
For most of his presidency, Barack Obama has viewed outreach to Congress as a chore rarely to be touched, and rank-and-file Republicans largely a contact point of last resort.
But the onset of across-the-board spending cuts and the refusal of Republican leaders to budge on new revenues to reduce the deficit has brought the president to Capitol Hill in a way few Republican senators say they can remember since he was a senator.
Since this weekend, Mr. Obama has spoken to at least a half-dozen Senate Republicans, trying to restart talks on a comprehensive deficit deal in the wake of the cuts, known as sequestration. In tone and detail, senators said Tuesday that they were hearing a president they had not heard in years.
“Maybe because of sequestration and frustration with the public, the time is right to act, and what I see from the president is probably the most encouraging engagement on a big issue since the early days of his presidency,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “He wants to do the big deal.”
House Republicans on Monday proposed legislation to keep the government running after the existing short-term spending plan expires on March 27.
The plan would freeze salary rates for federal employees but mitigate some of the impacts of the deep, government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester, which took effect on Friday. Overall, the $85 billion in reductions would still take place, but with slightly more flexibility.
And Obama has signaled that he would accept it.
He’s even going to meet with them.
They’ve got him.
Still, I bet there is something even more important motivating Obama.
Michelle Obama prepares for her next taxpayer-paid vacation
How would it look for America to be suffering the horrible things Obama promised would come to pass consequent to the sequester while Michelle is carving the slopes in Aspen, renting out a castle in Europe or chasing the dog down a beach in Oahu? She’s going nowhere until this mess is cleaned up.
She’s probably steamed at him right now.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) introduced an amendment to the fast-moving continuing resolution spending bill that would bar funding for President Obama’s golf outings until the White House reopens for public tours.