Monday, February 25, 2013

George Will: Obama as "Hysteric in Chief"

What will we do when the President who cried wolf once too often faces a crisis that is NOT one manufactured for political effect?

Great column Sunday by George Will. Here's an excerpt:
Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying “Wolf!” about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying “Hamster!”

As in: Batten down the hatches — the sequester will cut $85 billion from this year’s $3.6 trillion budget! Or: Head for the storm cellar — spending will be cut 2.3 percent! Or: Washington chain-saw massacre — we must scrape by on 97.7 percent of current spending! Or: Chaos is coming because the sequester will cut a sum $25 billion larger than was just shoveled out the door (supposedly, but not actually) for victims of Hurricane Sandy! Or: Heaven forfend, the sequester will cut 47 percent as much as was spent on the AIG bailout! Or: Famine, pestilence and locusts will come when the sequester causes federal spending over 10 years to plummet from $46 trillion all the way down to $44.8 trillion! Or: Grass will grow in the streets of America’s cities if the domestic agencies whose budgets have increased 17 percent under President Obama must endure a 5 percent cut!

The sequester has forced liberals to clarify their conviction that whatever the government’s size is at any moment, it is the bare minimum necessary to forestall intolerable suffering.
It's that last paragraph that really stands out for me. Obama and the Dems jacked up federal spending by 5% above the standard post World War II GDP average and now even the slightest dent in that mountain of pork spells Armageddon? Just how dumb does Obama think we are?

Here's a graph which illustrates the level of spending with and without the sequester. Look at it and tell me why the doom and gloom scenario Obama is peddling makes sense:

Full size image here.
Last week Obama put on quite a show with his Sequester photo-op with Emergency First Responders. He followed that up with interviews on local television in selected cities where he continued to bash Republicans and demand they raise taxes again.

If the latest fiscal crisis were real, don't you think that Obama might actually want to reach out to Republicans and show the presidential leadership necessary to find a solution? Isn't that what we elect our Presidents to do? Apparently, he missed that briefing, along with so many others on national security. Obama is campaigning, not leading. Even some in the media have noticed:
“Obama’s been virtually absent from the legislative process” of replacing his sequester, reports Politico. After getting the $600 billion in tax hikes he wanted last month (with no spending cuts), “there has been no discernible effort by the White House to work on a bill that might pass.”
  • “The Obama administration seems to be spending far more time warning of the consequences of the sequester — and blaming Republicans for it — than engaging in actual negotiations that would prevent it,” says ABC News.
  • “The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration,” says David Brooks in the New York Times, “let alone one that is politically plausible.”
  • “Tuesday's event had the feeling of a campaign commercial that went too far to be believed,” says the Los Angeles Times.
  • Politico says calls to GOP leaders were “perfunctory,” meant to “inoculate” the president from criticism that he’s campaigning instead of urging Senate Democrats to follow the House and pass legislation replacing his sequester. Their headline asks, “Is President Obama overplaying sequester hand?
  • At some point over the next four long years it's a certainty that this country will face a REAL crisis in either national security or fiscal issues. With a President who has shown ZERO interest in the kind of leadership necessary to solve problems that can only mean the situation will be more dire than it otherwise might. When that day comes we all know who to blame and it won't be George Bush!

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