Thursday, February 28, 2013

Government by Histrionics Part II

Remember the Y2K scare?  It was hyped as Armageddon.  It would destroy the economies of nations and topple civilization as we know it, in particular ours.  It all ended with a predictable thud as the date passed and nothing happened.  Partly because businesses and governments were doing the right things to solve the problem, but the media paid little attention.  The largest part of why it was predicable to many, was because while the media was hyping about "clocks", it was evident that in many cases the clocks were simply crystal driven pulse timers (very precise frequency pulses that engineers call "clocks") that really knew nothing about the calendar.  The two digit year issue in software programs were corrected in time, as planned.  The media just has to have doomsday to sell.

Now we have Armageddon predicted once again by President Barack Obama as a result of the sequester that he originated and championed in 2011 (see Part I for more). This montage is a video showing President Barack Obama caught in the lie about who originated the sequester:

President Obama, spoke in complete histrionics, 10 days before his sequester is to take effect.

Note the gratuitous use of people as props for his performance.
Text of the speech (excepts)
And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite.  It won't help the economy, won't create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.
Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.  It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.  It doesn’t make those distinctions.
Emergency responders like the ones who are here today -- their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded.  Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced.  FBI agents will be furloughed.  Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.  Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.  Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.
The histrionics also come from others in his administration, trying to prove the pain that will be a result, he starts to assure that:
1) Obama’s first sequester move: Releasing “waves” of illegal immigrants from detention centers

2) LaHood: Sequester will disrupt air travel even though we get more money for fewer flights now

Sad news: Sequestration might hamper more renewables projects and “investments”

Wall Street Journal
Flanked by emergency medical personnel, Mr. Obama made his usual threat of Armageddon if automatic spending cuts go forward on March 1. Americans can expect more such melodrama in the coming days, so as a public service we thought we'd break down the President's three biggest political tricks.
Americans need to understand that Mr. Obama is threatening that if he doesn't get what he wants, he's ready to inflict maximum pain on everybody else. He won't force government agencies to shave spending on travel and conferences and excessive pay and staffing. He won't demand that agencies cut the lowest priority spending as any half-competent middle manager would.
 But this is a message that Barack Obama is starting to lose and the truth.
Obama has just taken about double the sequestration amount out of the economy by his recent tax increases.  Those of course will not cause any ripples like the sequestration will. Hooey!

Charles Krauthammer flays the Obama histrionics argument [Video].

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is the most ridiculously hyped armageddon since the Mayan calendar. In fact, it looks worse than the Mayan disaster. Look, this, as you say, can be solved in a day, in an hour by allowing a transfer of funds. It's incredibly soluble, easily soluble. And the president is the one who ought to propose it. He won't, of course, because he is looking for a fight and not a solution. But secondly, look at this in perspective. 

In terms of the gross domestic product of our economy this is .003, it's a third of 1% of our domestic economy. On the domestic side, overall, it's 2.5 cents on the dollar. And overall, on the non-defense side, it's a penny-and-a-half on the dollar of reductions. Here we are with a debt of $16 trillion and the argument today is if we cut a penny-and-a-half on non-defense spending in one year it's the end of the world. If so, we are hopelessly in debt and we're going to end up like Greece. (Special Report, February 20, 2013)

So today Barack Obama starts the message shift to, "it won't be so bad". After spending weeks to instill, in the minds of the media and the low information voters, the panic that he wanted and needed, so he can get a Democratic Congress in 2014 to give him a blank check, no compromise needed. Playing both sides on the record, to give himself the option of saying "see I said it wouldn't be that bad", after spending weeks proclaiming the impending Armageddon
From Politico
He said the automatic, across-the-board cuts won't have an immediate impact except on those whose businesses are directly tied to the Defense Department but noted that other impacts will be felt, for example, if Head Start slots disappear.
"This is not a cliff, but it is a tumble downward," Obama said.
He predicted it would be a "big hit" on the economy, stifling economic growth, which could shrink by 0.6 percent. And he added that the "worst part" is that it is "entirely unnecessary."
So what has President Barack Obama been doing about the sequester?
Washington Times He's giving the Congress a whole 7 minutes!
Never let it be said that President Obama has failed to spend time with Republican leaders in seeking an alternative to automatic budget cuts that are due to hit most federal departments Friday. On Wednesday, for example, the president gave GOP lawmakers as much as seven minutes, a rare face-to-face encounter that the White House described as a “meeting.”
The White House’s characterization of this momentary huddle at the Capitol as a meeting illuminates Mr. Obama’s strategy in dealing with Republicans on the budget cuts and other fiscal deadlines.
A GOP aide: By the time Obama meets with the leaders, the cuts–$85 billion worth over the next seven months–could have already started to take place. It all depends on when Obama issues an order to let them begin. He has until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday to issue the order, according to an official with the Office of Management and Budget.

A senior congressional Republican chided Obama for the timing of the meeting.

"Either someone needs to buy the White House a calendar, or this is just a – belated – farce," the Republican said. "They ought to at least pretend to try."

From  2 great points:

1) Just how far has Barack Obama traveled to avoid reaching a deal on the sequester?  The House Republican Conference put together this clever video illustration of the President’s travels over the last two weeks, showing an itinerary of over 5,200 miles of jet-setting to gripe about the sequester.  The distance between the West Wing and Harry Reid’s office?  Why, that’s less than two miles:
2) Here’s what Woodward wrote in the op-ed that didn’t get them hot and bothered on Twitter, even though it should have: “[Months] of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)”

Lest you be caught up in the histrionics and still cower at the thought of the sequester taking effect tonight, you can read 
Reason TV: 5 facts that will keep you from committing sequestration seppuku

or watch the video

 And finally this chart is the reality of the cuts.
President Barack Obama is using the sequester as a tool to campaign for midterm elections.  To smear the Republicans with his actions.  If you buy into his histrionic arguments, you are part of the problem, not the solution!

No comments:

Post a Comment