Obama Blames Congress for Defense Sequester
Even though the Obama administration proposed the sequester, according to a recent book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, President Obama placed the blame on Congress for proposing and passing the sequester. His press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters that the sequester was a “designed trigger” and a “forcing mechanism” that was never meant to become policy.
But become policy it did. Even so, President Obama assured us during the third presidential debate that the January 2 cuts “will not happen.”
“His comments were meant to reassure a defense industry worried about pending cuts and layoffs, and a public worried about a tax hike in the midst of ongoing economic malaise. But White House advisers and congressional leaders have not sketched out a way out of the brinksmanship.”
People on both sides of the political aisle fear the effects of sequestration, but of course, for different reasons. Conservatives are particularly concerned with defense budget cuts, which would have dire effects on the military, as well as tax hikes. The Congressional Budget Office has assessed that this combination would push the U.S. economy into a recession.
As the election approaches, legislation is in the works that would offer a temporary solution to the impending $109 billion sequester and would consist of $55 billion in cost savings from January through June, Reuters reports. This delay could come with tax increases, phony cuts and a procedural map that all but guarantees future tax hikes.
In any case, Heritage recommends “Congress should work to overturn the cuts — without raising taxes and growing the debt — to sustain national security in a responsible manner.” Raising taxes and undermining the rights of individual lawmakers should not be part of that process.