Sequester: Obama forces the balance
March 2, 2013 4 Comments
The federal budget sequestration saga culminated with a geeky–if odd–bang on Friday. After days of touring the country and sounding alarms, President Obama denied he was feeding fears of fiscal “apocalypse,” felt compelled to concede, “I am not a dictator,” and confessed he could not change Republicans’ will through a “Jedi mind meld.”
In his Saturday radio address, the President acknowledged that Americans are tired of having to “careen from one manufactured crisis to another.” It’s good to remember who is in the drivers’ seat. It was President Obama who signed the legislation that triggered the sequester. In light of this fact, Cosmoscon recently supplied a fitting name for the White House’s trite theatrics: Obamaquester.
In the days leading up to sequestration, the media indulged dire headlines. Yahoo News’s leading caption warned Thursday, “Deep cuts to Begin.” LiveScience jarred us with “Sequester cuts could hit scientists hard.” The National Parks Service warned that bathrooms would go uncleaned, sending Mother Jones in a panic. And the Navy announced the Blue Angels would cancel shows. Mother Jones probably could care less for that jingoistic propaganda outfit.
The media has not been totally obeisant to White House talking points. Clicking through Yahoo’s “Deep Cuts” reveals news copy weary of alarmism. The Christian Science Monitor’s Decoder Wire challenged Obama’s characterization of “automatic” spending cuts. Yet, as with many other media sources, it was reluctant to put the actual cuts in perspective.
Fortunately, the fiscal conservatives on WordPress have been on top of it. The Southern Voice supplied a great Heritage Foundation graphic emphasizing that only budget growth shrinks under sequester, not the budget itself. International Liberty highlighted effective sequester editorial cartoons. I found Mike Ramirez’s pie picture to be an invaluable graphic.
The Moon in Daylight shared a great gamer’s analogy for Obama’s political strategy. The President is a “munchkin mini-maxer.” That is, he is a player who unscrupulously exploits a loophole in the rules or a coding glitch. Instead of “investing” all his skill into a well-rounded array of abilities like negotiation, initiative, or magnanimity, Obama has pooled all his skill points into demagoguery.
This singular focus yielded political absurdity the day sequestration went into effect. Besides denying that he was a dictator, he confessed “I’d like to think that I’ve still got some persuasive power left.” And once Obama issued the “Jedi mind meld” snafu, the White House Office of Perpetual Campaigning parlayed it into a geeky-hip social media meme. Should we expect less from the country’s premier community organizer?
— The White House (@whitehouse) March 1, 2013
One White House tweet implies tax hikes will “bring balance to the Force.” But we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. With a sluggish recovery, and over $600,000,000,000 in new revenue to pour in from the fiscal cliff deal, our economy needs more taxes like Luke Skywalker needed his hand chopped off by a lightsaber. If the politics of sequester have to stoop to science fiction references, then it’s more fitting to say that our one-track president, with his incessant campaigning for tax hikes, “brings force to the balance.” Politically, what Obama wants most and at all costs is to raise taxes for the sake of raising taxes.