So we know, courtesy of that Washington oracle Bob Woodward, that Obama and the White House have simply lied about the origin of the sequester that the Establishment is saying will result in the loosing of the Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I guess we shouldn’t be amazed at the cynicism of the White House in predicting doom and gloom about a $42 billion (the real cut will only be about half the advertised $85 billion) cut from a budget of $3.8 trillion. The media and the people are another matter.
You would think by this time that the urbane sophisticates in the news media would be totally hip to the “Washington Monument” strategy, whereby the Park Service closes the most popular attractions first in the event of budget constraints. It’s the oldest bureaucratic trick in the book, and a mark of how far the corruption of our republic has proceeded: if the spenders don’t get their way, they’ll cut back first on the most essential services for which we presume to pay our first tax dollars. Talk about an offer you can’t refuse: the government intends to hold the people hostage to its insatiable rapacity.
Will Americans really fall for threats of delayed air traffic control, longer TSA lines, cancelled food safety inspections, and reruns of “Who’s The Boss” on PBS? (Okay, I made that last one up, but it equals the absurdity of the others.) Of course, what this reveals is one more bit of evidence conservatives have long recognized: the mainstream media are in on the game, and will side with the Washington big government Establishment every time over the interests of the people.
Republicans should do more than just prepare legislation providing “flexibility” to the executive branch to administer these tiny budget cuts. They should prepare detailed budget cuts of their own department-by-department, providing exact line items of what programs can be cut or delayed under a sequester in the Dept. of Transportation, for example, so that it is not necessary to cut back on air traffic controllers in the towers, or food safety inspectors at USDA. They should announce these on a daily basis, as well as highlighting just one wasteful program in each department every day. The Pentagon should not be exempt from this, either. I’m sure the Pentagon can delay sexual harassment training programs for a few months, or can tell some colonels to drive their own cars to base instead of having a personal driver.
Finally, the White House panic over the sequester, like their eagerness in the end to strike a deal over the fiscal cliff back on January 1, suggests that they fear the results much more than Republicans do, for the simple reason that more of their client groups depend on federal money—groups like Planned Parenthood, for example.