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WP: Sequester Not What Obama Said It Would Be

From the Washington Post:

They said the sequester would be scary. Mostly, they were wrong.

By David A. Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein | June 30, 2013

Before “sequestration” took effect, the Obama administration issued specific — and alarming — predictions about what it would bring. There would be one-hour waits at airport security. Four-hour waits at border crossings. Prison guards would be furloughed for 12 days. FBI agents, up to 14.

At the Pentagon, the military health program would be unable to pay its bills for service members. The mayhem would extend even into the pantries of the neediest Americans: Around the country, 600,000 low-income women and children would be denied federal food aid.

But none of those things happened.

Just as we predicted they would not happen. But how come we could foresee this and the Washington Post and the rest of our media guardians could not?

The Washington Post recently checked 48 of those dire predictions about sequestration’s impact. Just 11 have come true, and some effects are worse than forecast.

Not really. In fact, the Post even counts some impacts that still have not happened. (Such as DOD furloughs.)

But 24 predictions have not come to pass. In 13 cases, agencies said it is too soon to know.

That means there’s been no effect.

So many predictions fell short because, in recent months, the administration and Congress did what was supposed to be impossible: They undid many of sequestration’s scariest reductions…

They did not such thing. They shifted around money. Just as we said they would.

But in other cases, they found “cuts” that didn’t cause much real-world pain. The Justice Department, for instance, prevented furloughs by “cutting” $300 million in money that had already legally expired, as well as $45 million meant to house detainees who didn’t exist.

This is why the sky didn’t fall. Sequestration was intended to show there was no longer any escape from austerity in Washington.

There was…

Except there wasn’t any austerity.

The Post found enormous variation among the outcomes of those administration predictions. In 13 cases, the results were unclear. Almost four months after sequestration took effect, the agencies could not, or would not, say if the predictions were coming true.

In 11 cases, sequestration turned out to be as bad as advertised, or worse.

The Labor Department had predicted that emergency unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed would be cut by 9.4 percent. But in some states, the reductions have been larger: 11 percent. For an individual, that could mean $450 less in benefits this year

And they did this because they knew it would hurt these people the most. And they would howl the loudest.

At the Pentagon, officials had predicted that they would reduce training for the Army, flying time for the Air Force and ship deployments for the Navy. They did all three. “It’s extremely hard to show a degradation in our readiness, although we feel it deeply across the force,” Pentagon spokeswoman Beth Robbins said…

This had very little to do with the sequester, and much more to do with Obama’s previous massive cuts to the Pentagon’s budget.

Across the government, more than 125,000 employees have been furloughed from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Internal Revenue Service, and other agencies.

They are getting long weekends, which eventually will be paid.

About 650,000 Defense Department civilians will start taking 11 unpaid days next week. Public defenders are losing up to 15 days of pay…

But it hasn’t happened yet, has it?

In 24 cases, however, The Post’s review showed that the predictions were wrong — sequestration had not lived up to the administration’s alarms…

Administration officials say they didn’t exaggerate sequestration’s effects on purpose. They believed it would be that bad. But then they got unexpected help from Capitol Hill.

“Subsequent to those estimates, Congress took action that changed a number of things,” an administration official said…

And never mind that Obama had vowed to veto any changes to sequester.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, July 1st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “WP: Sequester Not What Obama Said It Would Be”

  1. Liberals Demise

    Here’s what we got:
    Illegal criminals released from jail by homeland security.
    Armed Forces forced to cut training and readiness. A president that lives bigger than
    life while the unwashed beg for crumbs off Michelle’s bib.

    Please feel free to add on fellow S&Lers.

  2. Noyzmakr

    Narcissist-in-chief lied. Big woop! What else is new?

  3. Budget cuts resulted in Obama spending $100 million to vacation, while cutting off citizen visits at our home.


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