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President Obama Passes Blame on Sequestration

But He Supported Those Cuts During 2012 Campaign


Updated February 20, 2013
As sequestration and "cuts" to defense spending loom, President Obama laid out his one-note-solution-to-everything that the only way to prevent the sequestration from taking place is to - and stop me if you have heard this before - tax the rich! How original. It is almost as though Obama had nothing to do with the sequester, did not want it to take place, and hasn't already won a load of tax increases this year and every year since his first.

Obama Bragged About Sequester During Campaign

In what was originally an off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register during the Presidential campaign, President Obama actually bragged to the editorial board that the sequester was in place and as a part of his plan that would reduce spending:

"So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent -- at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit -- but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business."

Just the night before in a presidential debate with Governor Romney, Obama claimed that the cuts were not his idea and that they were not going to happen. The blatant politicization of sequestration – his public statements versus his actual intentions – was almost exclusively ignored by the mainstream media.

Oh, and Sequester was Obama’s Idea

Even NPR admitted that sequestration was Obama’s idea, noting that “it is true that sequestration was the Obama administration's idea. White House officials proposed it as part of the agreement that resolved the 2011 debt ceiling fight.”

So, not only did Obama "mislead" about who started the sequestration during the debate with Governor Romney, he also was intentionally deceiving about whether he liked the sequestration when he bragged that those cuts would “solve that big piece of business.” Now, he is all to willing to play unwilling participant in the whole matter, and graciously trade the sequester for even greater tax increases.

Republicans Poor Negotiation Skills Backfire Again

Of course, it is also true that the Republicans agreed to sequestration. The clear difference, of course, is that they were actually sincere in their desire to have meaningful budget cuts to later off-set them. Of course it wasn't to bright to threaten automatic cuts in defense as your bargaining tool when you know Obama is perfectly fine with and supports cuts to defense spending to begin with. (Even the "cuts" are barely accurate. Without baseline budgeting, the cuts in sequestration mostly just prevent an automatic increase from taking place, rather than reduce spending from the year before.) Republicans, here is an idea: Next time you make a debt deal and tie automatic cuts to a spending program, make sure the spending program is something your opponent doesn't want to see slashed. Just a thought.

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