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White House Fearmongers Sequester (Non) Cuts

From the dependable hysterics at the New York Times:

White House Delivers Dire Warning About Automatic Cuts

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR | February 8, 2013

[T]he policy wonks in the White House tried every which way they could on Friday to warn of the dangers of a different kind of storm.

The officials gathered reporters to describe what they believe will be the effects of sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board cuts to defense and domestic spending that will kick in on March 1 unless Congress and President Obama agree on a plan to put them off.

The string of adjectives was meant to be chilling: “large and arbitrary,” “severe,” “significant and harmful,” “very significant,” “blunt,” “mindless” and “extraordinarily troublesome.”

They didn’t stop with just adjectives, though. In their effort to pressure Republican lawmakers to agree to tax increases as well as spending cuts, White House officials predicted specific consequences that Americans might not like.

Among them, they said: 70,000 young children will be kicked off Head Start early education programs; hundreds of federal prosecutors will be furloughed; food safety inspections will be cut back; 600,000 women and children will lose nutritional benefits; and small-business loans will be cut by about $500 million.

“The cuts would cause very significant disruptions that would be felt far and wide across the country,” said Danny Werfel, the federal controller of the Office of Management and Budget. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. We can’t plan our way out of these consequences or take steps to soften the blow.”

How come this isn’t called fearmongering? Or at least, government propaganda? Especially since not a single word of this is true. Are there no journalists left at the New York Times?

Even if the sequester were to go into effect for its full ten years, there will be no cuts. There will just be a minuscule reduction (2%) in the rate of increased spending. In fact, in 2022, the US government would still end up spending $2.14 trillion more in real dollars than it is spending now.

But no one will ever point that minor detail out. The news media only ‘fact checks’ Republicans. And, even then, they usually skip the facts.

The briefing was the latest attempt by Mr. Obama’s White House to try and make sure that Republicans receive the blame for the consequences of the automatic cuts — if they happen…

White House officials are quick to point out that Republicans in the House embraced the idea of the automatic cuts as a way to force deficit discipline. They point out that 174 House Republicans voted for sequestration, including Mr. Boehner, who proclaimed himself pleased when it passed.

Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, said the idea that the automatic cuts were all the president’s idea is a “fanciful confection” invented by Republicans…

As usual, Mr. Carney is lying. From a September 2012 article in the Politico about Woodward’s book on the sequester deal:

Bob Woodward book could bolster Republican attack on W.H.

Bob Woodward’s book delves into across-the-board cuts to the defense budget.


A forthcoming book could give new ammunition to Republican hawks eager to blame the Obama administration for looming, across-the-board cuts to the defense budget.

The book “The Price of Politics,” by Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward, makes it clear the idea for the draconian spending cuts originated in the White House – and not in Congress.

According to the book, excerpts of which were obtained by POLITICO ahead of the Sept. 11 release, President Barack Obama’s top deputies believed the prospect of massive defense cuts would compel Republicans to agree to a deficit-cutting grand bargain.

Then-OMB Director Jack Lew, now the White House chief of staff, and White House Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors pitched the idea to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Woodward writes…

Who knew Bob Woodward is a Republican?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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