Sequestration, the name given to automatic budget cuts set to begin March 1, was the brainchild of the Obama administration back in 2011 when a deal was being sought to raise the debt ceiling. Now President Barack Obama is blaming Republicans in Congress for the fact the sequester may actually occur.
Obama touched on this during his State of the Union speech. He was at it again Tuesday, telling those assembled that if the sequester occurs, “people will lose their jobs.” No kidding!
Under the sequester, the government would have to cut $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The military would absorb more cuts than any other federal department. This would take a significant toll here in Oklahoma, home to three Air Force bases, an Army fort and an ammunition plant. Job losses and furloughs would be plentiful.
Obama on Tuesday said he has proposed a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction — that is, more taxes on the rich. A plan by Democrats in the House and Senate, he said, seeks such balance by ensuring “that billionaires can't pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries.”
He never tires of using class envy as a cudgel; indeed, in the next breath he said Republican proposals “ask nothing of the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is all on first responders or seniors or middle-class families.” The GOP, Obama says, would “rather have these cuts go into effect than close a single tax loophole for the wealthiest Americans. Not one.”
The Great Divider is banking on Republicans caving under his never-ending assault. No doubt, if the sequester goes into effect, the GOP will be painted as the reason why. But House Speaker John Boehner is right in saying we need a budget plan that does more than soak the wealthy. He's also right to ask, as he did Tuesday, “What other spending is the president willing to cut?”