Human Events Blog

Sequestration: a crisis so awful the President won’t do anything about it

Jim Geraghty at National Review checks on the current state of Obama’s traveling sequestration dramedy, and finds the latest off-Broadway production scheduled for Newport News, Virginia:

He will presumably take Air Force One, which costs roughly $180,000 per hour to operate, to give a speech. That speech will make the same argument he made last week at the White House, with at least one first responder feeling like a “potted plant” behind him.

Oh, and President Obama has not met any congressional leaders face-to-face to discuss avoiding sequestration yet.

President Obama really, really, really wants to avoid sequestration, he tells us… yet he refuses to do what would be required to avoid it: make some concessions and hash out a better deal with congressional leaders.

This is one of the many inherent flaws in the “perpetual campaign” style of government: it doesn’t leave a lot of time for actual governing.  Every day the President spends on his Moebius loop of a campaign trail is a day he isn’t working on a solution to the problem he keeps complaining about.  The calculation is obvious – he thinks he can whip up enough poll-testable public sentiment to intimidate Republicans into giving him more tax increases.  That’s what the entire point of the Budget Control Act’s vaunted “Super Committee” was; that’s why Obama designed the sequester.  If the menace of sequestration didn’t squeeze tax increases out of the Super Committee, while keeping real spending reform off the table, this perpetual whine-fest was always Obama’s Plan  B.

I would ask the Obama apologist a simple question: why didn’t he use the long months after the Super Committee’s failure to design those “smart spending cuts” he keeps talking about?  He could have had them ready to go in plenty of time for the sequestration “crisis,” the fiscal cliff “crisis,” or even the presidential campaign.  He could have campaigned on them to demonstrate his fiscal responsibility bona fides.  He’s got a titanic personal staff, with thousands of man-hours available for the task.  Oceans of absurdly wasteful government spending are ready to hand.

But in reality, the President has not invested one single moment in putting together a package of “smart” spending cuts to avoid the sequester… while Republicans have.  They’ve put several specific, realistic plans on the table.  A responsible President would be negotiating the differences between his plan and the Republican plan, not racing around the country whipping up panic without ever putting up ideas of his own.  And the notion that this bloated government can’t trim spending by 2.3 percent without grabbing more tax revenue is patently absurd.

The permanent campaign turns government into a gigantic Fear Machine, manufacturing one crisis after another to keep Americans in a constant state of trembling panic, in which they’ll reflexively turn to Big Government for a measure of stability.  This will never be over, people.  The Democrats can keep this up all day, every day.  The government they have created is a gigantic special interest that lobbies endlessly for its own further growth, and it is now large enough to create a “crisis” in virtually any aspect of our daily lives.  Our only hope for responsible government is to deal a series of resounding defeats to the Fear Machine, demanding the responsible completion of duties, rather than constant abuse of State power to manipulate us.  Make Obama and his cronies do their damn jobs, on a very tight budget, and they’ll have less time on their hands to spend manufacturing crises.

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