February 28, 2013
It’s best to keep our expectations low when giving unsolicited advice to congressional Republicans. We hope they won’t let Barack Obama get away with telling the country the coming budget sequester means deep and painful cuts in barely adequate federal spending. His tactic is especially contemptible because it’s so familiar.
We’ve always called it the school board game: Taxes keep rising to pay armies of overfed assistant principals and dubious guidance counselors, citizens turn out to protest at the school board meeting and board members—many owing their positions to the teachers’ union—announce that they’ll have to eliminate band and football.
Last Tuesday, Obama posed with cops and firefighters and told the country it will need to get by with a lot fewer of them if the federal government reduces current-year spending—by the measly 2.3 percent required under the sequester.
Never mind that cops and firefighters are paid predominantly with local, not federal tax dollars. And never mind that anybody who takes an oath of office has some explaining to do if public safety personnel disappear while any other part of government is still standing.
And never forget that the sequester is Obama’s invention. He demanded it in 2011 after breaking a debt-limit deal with Congress. Now he’s reduced to running around the country telling horror stories that are pure nonsense.
Relentless deceit becomes a tactical imperative when a guy who really doesn’t know all that much convinces himself he’s the Supreme Genius of All Time. It now has Obama denouncing his own ideas. Call this progress.