How Obama blew the sequester


obama facepalm 2

It could have been a powerful tool. Obama blew it and blew it big. The real answer was simple.

The idea of the sequester came from the White House:

“In 2011, President Obama proposed the devastating sequestration cuts and stood by them. Now the Democrats continue saying Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, showing just out of touch the Democrats are with the American people. House Republicans have passed two bills that provide common-sense solutions that would reduce spending and preserve and strengthen our safety net for future generations. Instead of admitting we have a problem, Obama and the Democrats would rather find more tax increases. Our nation’s problem is spending and it’s time the president realizes that.”

It was designed to cause maximum pain to the public:

The Washington Examiner reported Monday, “it is in the political interest of a president to inflict maximum pain on the American people.”

“Now facing the consequences” of the automatic spending cuts his administration’s sequester cuts will inflict upon Americans – and frustrated by Republican successes in blocking his effort to raise taxes and pass gun-control measures – The Washington Post reported Sunday that Obama is now “focused” on winning back control of the House to “forward” his agenda, “which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president.”

The worst case scenario for Washington was for a sequester to occur and no one to give a damn:

Three out of 4 Americans say they aren’t following the spending cuts issue very closely, according to a Pew Research Center poll released this week. It’s a significant drop from the nearly 4 in 10 who in December said they were closely following the fiscal-cliff debate.

Public data from Google’s search engine shows that at its peak in December, the search term “fiscal cliff” was about 10 times as popular as “sequestration” has been in recent days. Even “debt ceiling,” not a huge thriller for the web-surfing crowd, maxed out in July 2011 at about three times the searches the sequester is now getting.

“We’re now approaching the next alleged deadline of doom. And voters, having been told previously that the world might end, found it did not in the past and are becoming more skeptical that it will in the future,” said Peter Brown of the nonpartisan Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Oh sure, some were put off with the termination of the White House tours, but that was about it.

Thing is, there was a way that this sequester could have been designed to maximize the effect: design it to inconvenience Congress. Congress doesn’t care about White House tours. There’s a whole list of things Congress really doesn’t care about here. What does Congress care about?


Congressmen fly home for the weekends and holidays. One thing they can’t stand is being inconvenienced. And flight delays are a major inconvenience. So they fixed it.

The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester.

Senators unanimously approved the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” — a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country.

The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA’s budget — but not allocated to pay for other things — to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights a on time.

It was passed by unanimous consent, which means no senator objected.

The House could take the bill up tomorrow and pass it with 2/3 support of that chamber.

All of this was a last minute scramble to avert a crisis that was becoming more and more politically problematic by the day.

The rush was inspired by the looming congressional recess, which lasts all next week. Many senators are leaving were set to leave town Thursday night and Friday.

The House passed similar legislation.

Barack Obama and his personal Ewok Gene Sperling could not have been more misdirected. They wasted countless hours constructing a program to maximize the hurt on citizens when all they had to was put the hurt on Congress.

Too soon old, too late smart.

Thank goodness.

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Ah…the sequester was bipartisan and drawn up by Congress to force them to accept responsibility. No surprise it fails with the extreme winguts in office.

There’s no escape from 17 trillion. done!

The sequester was a reduction in the amount of automatic increases for federally funded operations. It was not a cut in the existing annual budget. If a child normally received a 5 cent raise in his allowance, and the next year he was only given a 3 cents increase, it was still an increase.

What is so difficult to understand about this issue, and why doesn’t someone call out the lies uttered by leading democrats, especially Reid?

@bwax: People have been calling out the lies. The problem is that as long as there are people gullible enough to believe them (around 51% judging by the results of the last election), they will keep repeating them.

The great sequester,Obama played the Republicans like a violin.

He agreed to it knowing knowing full well that the he could direct the cuts in such away it teach the sheeple just how much they need Big Gov,like long lines at airports which they had resend last week.

Or cuts to readiness of the Military and so on…things that would touch the sheeple personally.

Plus the fact the Democrats and the Republicans both voted to exempt their staffers from Obama-care.or heres another one, they both agreed to enriching themselves on insider trades info,which was illegal but not no more.Thx to glory-est leaders on both side.

Both parity’s are screwing over those sheeple and no one Care’s.

This not going to end until they steal every last dollar you have and pass anuff laws to protect themselves on their way out,all the while it comes crashing down around us.

The democrats are correct when they say they don’t have a spending problem. They don’t have a problem with spending our money. They are experts at spending money. Their problem, as they see it, is how to get us to give up more of our money so they can spend it too.

@DrJohn: Wrong. The Super Committee drew it up and everything was agreed upon, on both sides.

Mar 3, 2013 … White House economic adviser Gene Sperling admits that, yes, in fact, the sequestration was President Obama’s plan…

Stop the lies.

“Said Sperling on the Meet the Press program on March 3, “We put forth the design of” the sequestration, Sperling finally admits after a long exchange with the program hot [sic].”

Libs at first were on board since half the cuts would come from defense. Their proposal passed, and now they don’t want to own it. Too bad.

By next year they won’t want to own Obamacare either.

From the Washington Post:

In sum: [Director of the National Economic Council and Obama adviser] Gene Sperling brought up the idea of a sequester, while Jack Lew sold Harry Reid on the idea and then decided to use the Gramm-Hollings-Rudman language (which he knew from his days of working for Tip O’Neill) as a template for sequester. The proposal was so unusual for Republicans that staffers had to work through the night to understand it.

Actually, the sequester was originally suggested by the Heritage Foundation in Jan 2011, well before the bill’s language was finalized and passed. It was one of three options Heritage said faced Congress. The first, to “Hold the Line” and not raise the debt ceiling was never going to happen. Neither was the second, to raise the debt limit, accompanied by immediate spending reductions.

Both parties argued for months about what “trigger” would be acceptable to raise the debt limit in two stages, and force some spending cuts as contingent on the second increase during an election year. In July, the supercommittee and sequestration were already part of those options. It’s not like it wasn’t considered, or was some unique and unheard of idea emanating from the WH.

What is noticeable is that neither the GOP or the Dems want to take the political fallout for reducing spending… which doesn’t bode well for any genuine spending reform in our lifetimes. So both of them are tickled pink to point fingers at the WH as a scapegoat for what Heritage and both parties knew was likely to be the only acceptable trigger to solve the debt ceiling debate of that particular day.

Congress and the WH did exactly what Heritage suggested they’d do… go for sequestration… since it was the only thing they could agree on, and equally hurt both if they failed to act. The idea was that it would be so heinous that they’d actually find common ground to stop it. Right…

It’s absurd to complain about sequestration. Any time the feds stop handing out money, someone is going to complain and it will be felt. It’s a pathetically small reduction in the regular budget increases, but it’s better than nothing. Everyone got what they signed up for, including repercussions if they couldn’t come to another agreement.

For the GOP to run from the only budget spending reductions is absurd, and muddies their talking points that they want to reduce spending… even if just a minute percentage of automatic budget increases. Both Byron York, and Jeff G over at ProteinWisdom called this self defeating PR game by the GOP correctly.

OBAMA was so proud to show how his SEQUESTRER will destroy AMERICA,
he was jiggeling in front on the stage,
and his democrats repeating after him same dreadfull words of doom for the PEOPLE,
they should be taken out of their jobs,
the PEOPLE cannot accept this behavior from a PRESIDENT WISHING TO PUNISH THE PEOPLE,
I just heard the ICE are suing OBAMA for preventing them to arrest THE ILLEGALS CRIMINALS, they have to let them loose in the STATES who have all kind of crimes because of it.

but why did the HOUSE waited till the PEOPLE where all stuck together
waiting for MORE THAN 5 hours, it was horrible and there was children in there waiting, making it hard for the parents ,

@Meremortal: The ‘idea’ of the sequester was Obama’s, but the items placed in it was the result of the bi-partisan Super Committee. And it was voted in by Congress.

They are all a bunch of hypocrites. I think it should torque everyone off that the only reason congress acted is because this is a program that directly affected them. But President Obama has no “get out of jail free” card on this hypocrisy either. His FY2013 budget proposal for the FAA was $15,146,000,000. The sequester left the FAA with a mere $15,371,000,000. That’s $225,000,000 more than the president asked for.
All of the cuts are cuts in the rate of growth in spending. If DC used zero balanced budgeting like everyone else, these would not even be cuts.
So, Johnny McCain should stop whining about the military being gutted. He and his cohorts are forcing the Army to buy tanks they don’t want. And Nancy Pelosi needs to quit whining about the loss of meals on wheels. We spend billions on vacant government buildings, sell them. The USDA spent $300,000 telling Americans to eat caviar. Really, how many meals on wheels would that have bought Nancy?
NASA complains about budget cuts and a reduction in the space program, yet this year, NASA awarded $947,000 to researchers at Cornell University and the University of Hawaii to study the best food for astronauts to eat on Mars.
Read Senator Coburn’s Wastebook,
The sequester is nowhere near enough spending reduction by the feds. Not by a long shot. They prove time and again that they will spend more money than they take in. Give them even more, and they will spend even more. It’s way past time that all government agencies receive a total review by congress and all duplicative programs are eliminated. And congress needs to exercise its oversight powers on spending. Someone should go to jail fro a $1 million grant to study foods to eat on Mars.

@Aqua, of course they are all a bunch of hypocrites. And you can also add good ol’ boys and girls club as well, since they do lock arms to protect their proverbial career politician butts against the masses.

I never said Obama deserved a pass. What I object to is the idiocy of the GOP blaming Obama for a circa 1980s creation that was proposed by not only a well respected conservative think tank long before, but by Congressional members themselves.

And I’m also highly offended they all want to give me lip service 24/7 about reducing spending, but then when it happens, point the fingers elsewhere so they don’t have to face the criticism for the repercussions and reduced manpower and services. Heck with that stuff… Reducing spending and budgets does not come without a political price. Don’t tell me they’re up to it, when they’ve proven time and time again they aren’t. I’ve written off both sides of the aisle in the beltway.

One can say they all deserve “blame”, if you want to assign “blame” for the only pathetic reduction in spending we’re likely to see in our lifetimes. I’d be more inclined to give them one handed applause. We need to be grateful for the crumbs of savings they throw us, yes? But reality is, Congress constructed the legislation and passed it. Obama signed it. It’s not some novel idea, or one that hadn’t been considered prior to the midnight hour. That’s just partisan talking points.

Me? I’m only sorry it wasn’t a larger forced reduction.


Me? I’m only sorry it wasn’t a larger forced reduction.

Oh, I agree. This was supposed to be set up to inflict pain on both sides so they would come to a conclusion. It inflicts pain on no one unless it is implemented in such a way to do so. The sequester is proving that government can do with less, they just do not want to.

he cannot manage his core anger when HE doesn’t get what he need ,
that is an unlimited credit card
he need to inflict pain he feel when he explode out of control,
which he will never understand why they are so tolerant,
because HE has no roots in AMERICA except a weak one,
which is not strongly rooted to make him belong to AMERICA,
you will see the difference of the rooted AMERICAN mindset to help not to give pain.
how did AMERICA GOT THERE? who is to blame? we must dig and find them,
so to remove their TREASONOUS ACTIONS forever and ever,
than there will be no more usurper, in this AMERICA, and THE PEOPLE, will be reunite
to love the BEAUTIFUL AMERICA, AS IT WAS BEFORE the traitors set in to change her
forever as OBAMA PROMISES from his first day,