Although President Barack Obama paints a bleak picture for the country if we allow the sequester cuts to go through, two weeks before he was re-elected, sequester wasn’t just a good thing — they formed one-half of his short-term plan to reduce the deficit.
To hear the president speak, life, as we know it, will come to a brutal end if the sequestration cuts take place.
We’ll see a massive layoff of teachers, police officers and firefighters.
Our borders will be left unprotected and security lines at airports will seem eternal.
Children will be denied a slot in Head Start programs and seniors may go hungry.
Student loans will dry up, a significant part of our Naval fleet will be mothballed and our national park system will be hit with a “perfect storm.”
However, on Oct. 22, just two weeks before his re-election, the president held a telephone interview http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2012/10/23/register-editor-obama-off-the-record-comments-deserve-to-be-shared-with-voters/article with Laura Hollingsworth, President and publisher of the Des Moines Register, and Rick Green, its editor and vice president of news.
The interview was conducted in an effort to secure the Register’s endorsement. At the time, the Obama campaign insisted that the interview be kept off the record. After the Register’s editorial staff publicly complained, the campaign released a transcript of the interview, which was published by many outlets, including Fox News.http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/10/24/transcript-obama-campaign-releases-transcript-of-presidents-interview-with-des-moines-register-after-insisting-that-it-be-kept-off-the-record/
During the interview and after some prefatory remarks, Green asks Obama the following question:
I’m curious about what you see your role is in terms of changing the tone and the perception that Washington is broken. But particularly, sir, if you were granted a second term, how do you implode this partisan gridlock that has gripped Washington and Congress and basically our entire political structure right now?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Rick, let me answer you short term and long term. In the short term, the good news is that there’s going to be a forcing mechanism to deal with what is the central ideological argument in Washington right now, and that is: How much government do we have and how do we pay for it?
So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent — at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit — but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business.
“The good news is that there’s going to be a forcing mechanism,” and the name of that mechanism is, “ the Bush tax cuts expiring [and] the sequester in place.”
We finally learned that the White House was the sequestration’s brainchild only after the president’s feet were held to the fire by veteran journalist Bob Woodward. Now we know that not only did the idea originate there, but that the cuts were viewed as a good thing.
So what’s changed between then and now? Only Obama can say for sure. Maybe he’s playing hardball now because he didn’t get the tax hikes he wanted at the first of the year and he wants a second time at bat.
Whatever the reason, four short months ago sequestration was an integral part of his budget control plan. Today it’s Armageddon.