Sequester Deception and Hysteria

In only four years the President and the Democrats have made amazing progress toward realizing the progressive dream of a powerful central government, controlling every corner of the economy and dominating the states and The People.  The only thing holding them back is the Republican House majority, supported by popular resistance to deficit spending and the alarming rise in government debt. 

The deadline to prevent sequester or $85 billion in “cuts” which are actually reductions in the rate of spending growth, was March 1.  President Obama proposed the sequester in 2011.  It was a tactic to defer discussion of spending cuts until after the election.   For various reasons it hasn’t worked out the way he hoped and at the last minute he desperately tried to prevent it.  He has held several campaign style events, issuing ominous predictions of misery and mayhem if Republicans in Congress don’t submit to his demand for new legislation that would cancel the sequester cuts and impose tax increases.

For example, Obama claimed that as a result of sequester “thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.”

Because voters tell pollsters that Education is one of their higher priorities, the President talks about education in virtually every public appearance.  However Education is not a federal government function.  It’s a local government service and is paid for almost entirely by state and local taxes, not federal money.  Here’s the math:

  • In 2012 States and local governments spent $778 billion on Education. 
  • The federal government added $29 billion in various subsidies and grants for a total of $808 billion.
  • According to a report published by the White House sequester will cut the federal share of education funding by $2 billion, reducing the total from $808 to $806 billion or 2 tenths of one percent.
  • Even that incremental reduction overstates the impact of the cuts because most federal money funds ancillary programs, not the salaries of classroom teachers.  Mr. Obama uses the Education establishment’s term “educator” in place of of the word “bureaucrat,” to describe the people who supposedly help children learn by working in office buildings far from any classroom.
  • After the sequester cut federal primary and secondary education spending will still be 28% more than in 2008, the year before the Obama spending surge began.

The President warned that sequester cuts to the National Institutes of Health would “set back medical science for a generation.”

Wow!  That’s sounds awful.  But most medical research is done by the private sector, not the federal government.  And according to the White House Sequester report Mr. Obama’s doomsday warning is absurd. The National Institutes of Health are scheduled to spend $34.3 billion in 2013.  Their share of  sequester cuts would be $2.5 billion, leaving $31.7 billion.  That’s 3% less than in 2012 but 9% more than 2008.

In a campaign style event on Tuesday Mr. Obama described the sequester as arbitrary, brutal, meat cleaver,  and issued several more threats including,

  • “Emergency responders ability to help their communities through disasters will be degraded.”  But like teachers, police and fire departments are funded almost entirely by state and local government.
  • “border patrol agents will see hours reduced”
  • “Cutbacks to air traffic control and airport security”
  • “Hundreds of thousands will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.”

Then he added what could be described as a veiled threat against The People if Republicans don’t pass legislation that cancels the sequester cuts and increases taxes:

  • “FBI agents will be furloughed and Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go”

Really Mr. President?  Are you threatening to turn criminals loose on our streets if you don’t win your political fight in Washington? 

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