As we inch ever so closer to the dreaded sequester that is set to take effect on March 1st, it would seem to this humble political observer that there are virtually no talks of preventing it. It would seem that rather than preventing the sequester, our elected representatives in government can do is try to focus blame onto the other side, mostly because one side just can’t accept some compromise with the other.
Before I get too far into the blame game, we should have a look at the particulars of this most recent government manufactured crisis. The Sequester is a set of automatic spending cuts across-the-board to both defense spending and domestic spending that was triggered when Congress could not come into an agreement on how to reduce the deficit last year.
These cuts wouldn’t be felt all at once when the sequester initially goes into effect, but in the ongoing weeks it will become increasingly apparent to the American people how their lives are being affected by broad reckless budget cuts to everyday federal programs citizens rely on.
The initial tactic by the Republicans seemed to be that this was all the President Obama’s fault; that he and his administration came up with the idea of sequestration if a deficit reduction deal couldn’t be made between both Democrats and Republicans.
The dishonesty here would be that the same people trying to tie President Obama into ownership of the sequester are the people that supported it. The bill that contained the sequester was passed by a Republican majority vote in the House, and a split vote in the Senate. Speaker Boehner said about the bill that “I got 98 percent of what I wanted.” He even made powerpoint slides presenting the sequester as the major selling point of the bill.
Rep. Paul Ryan is on record supporting the sequester particularly, saying to Sean Hannity that “if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can’t turn that off without a supermajority vote. We got that in law. That is here…”
Due to the low effectiveness of these blame efforts (which polls suggest), some Republicans now are resorting to saying all of the negative consequences President Obama is warning the public about is just him trying scare the public into being on his side of this debate.
This is a calculated move. Since the sequester doesn’t take full effect immediately, it gives Republicans more time to stall while also making the President look to be dishonest because the sky isn’t falling right away. This only works out well for them if the sequester is dealt with before its effects become glaringly obvious, so this gives a pretty decent time table for when the other side is likely to truly want to come to some compromise.