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WSJ: Obama Is Threatening Armageddon Again

From the editors of the Wall Street Journal:

President Armageddon

The Washington Monument ploy and other Obama gambits.

February 19, 2013

President Obama returned from a long weekend with his golfing buddies on Tuesday to take up his by now familiar political stand: If Republicans don’t raise taxes in return for more spending, the world will end. We wish he’d stayed on the putting green.

Flanked by emergency medical personnel, Mr. Obama made his usual threat of Armageddon if automatic spending cuts go forward on March 1. Americans can expect more such melodrama in the coming days, so as a public service we thought we’d break down the President’s three biggest political tricks.

How many emergency medical personnel are funded by the federal government anyway? (Same with teachers and firefighters and many others on his list.)

• The Washington Monument ploy. "If Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place," he moaned, "it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job creating investments in education and energy and medical research." His parade of horribles went on for several minutes. All of this wreckage from a 5% cut to domestic agencies and a 7% cut to the military.

It’s funny how we never heard about any of these risks when Obama cut military spending by $487 billion dollars just a little more than a year ago.

Americans need to understand that Mr. Obama is threatening that if he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s ready to inflict maximum pain on everybody else. He won’t force government agencies to shave spending on travel and conferences and excessive pay and staffing. He won’t demand that agencies cut the lowest priority spending as any half-competent middle manager would.

And, lest we forget, as the head of the executive branch, Obama himself gets to decide where these specific cuts are made.

It’s the old ploy to stir public support for all government spending by shutting down vital services first. Voters should scoff at the idea that a $3.6 trillion government can’t save one nickel of every dollar that agencies spend. The $85 billion in savings is a mere 2.3% of total spending.

Finally, someone else notices these minor details! (According to other reports federal spending this year will actually be $3.8 trillion. Which is why we have previously stated that the cuts are 2.2% of the budget.)

The agencies that the White House says can’t save 5% received an average increase in their budgets of 17% in the previous five years—not counting their $276 billion stimulus bonus.

Thanks to baseline budgeting. (It’s not clear whether this is is 17% a year or overall. But even if it was only a 3.4% a year increase, it means these ‘cuts’ are not as draconian as they are being reported.)

• The recession scare. Mr. Obama warned that the sequester will "hurt our economic growth [and] add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls." But hasn’t Mr. Obama been telling us that the economy is coming back and the stock market is up?

Mr. Obama just whacked the economy with a roughly $160 billion tax increase in 2013 that he says will do no harm, but he wants us to believe that $85 billion in spending cuts will trigger a recession…

And Obama is still insisting that we raise taxes, which is sure to hurt the economy.

The sequester shaves the equivalent of about 0.25% of GDP… After World War II federal spending fell from 42% of GDP to 14.8% in two years, yet the private economy and employment roared back to life….

Mr. Obama has taken government spending from 21% to 24% of GDP, yet we’ve had the weakest economic recovery in three generations…

The sequester is far from ideal and it would make much more sense to work with Congress to set priorities. But Mr. Obama has rejected every meaningful reform in entitlements that Republicans or his own Simpson-Bowles commission have offered. ObamaCare will add more than $1 trillion in new costs and add some 17 million people to Medicaid, but he says this can’t be touched. In his State of the Union address Mr. Obama proposed $83.4 billion in new spending, according to a tally by the National Taxpayers Union.

And his $85 billion dollars in new spending didn’t even warrant a mention from our news media. Meanwhile, $85 billion in sequester ‘cuts’ (that aren’t cuts) herald the end of the world as we know it.

If Mr. Obama really wants to eliminate the sequester, Republicans are ready to negotiate. But if he won’t drop his tax increase and negotiate in good faith, as he hasn’t during his Presidency, then the sequester is the only way that any spending is going to be cut. The economy will be better for it.

Obama does not care about the economy or jobs. He only cares about beating up the Republicans. And this gives him another way to do it.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “WSJ: Obama Is Threatening Armageddon Again”

  1. untrainable says:

    …if he won’t drop his tax increase and negotiate in good faith… When in his entire political career has Mr Obama EVER given ANY indication that he would do ANYTHING in good faith?

    There are 2 sides to Obama’s “negotiations”. First is throwing up straw men and making hysterical claims in an effort to make the other guy look like the devil’s henchman. This approach goes back to being a community agitator, Obama’s only real skill. And second, if you give me money, I’ll get you what you want. If you don’t pay me, not only will you not get what you want… I’ll use my minions in the media to destroy you. Where I come from that’s closer to extortion than negotiation.

    What is it going to take for these wishy washy (R) weasels to see an agitator/extortionist instead of a human being who operates in good faith? The first step in recovery is realizing that you have a problem. Spinelessness is a republican problem. And expecting a reasonable discussion with a Chicago criminal is just plain stupid.

  2. Mithrandir says:

    It’ the MAFIA threatening pain and broken bones if you don’t pay up.

    Find out what hurts the most, then threaten severe pain.

    The elderly

    Rest assured, not 1 PENNY of any budget will be cut without a fight. Because if they don’t train the public properly, 1 PENNY is going to snowball into trillions and trillion of pennies. This is the folly of allowing the government to control everything, because if they can give it to you, they can take it away as well.

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