Sequester was Obama’s idea:
My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
But still he’s upset…and what about this time? That a bipartisan (202 Republicans and 159 Democrats voted for it) bill was passed that stopped the obvious politically motivated furloughs of air traffic controllers:
President Barack Obama says the congressional fix for widespread flight delays is an irresponsible way to govern, but he’s prepared to sign the legislation that lawmakers fast-tracked.
He says the bipartisan bill to end furloughs of air traffic controllers is a “Band-Aid” solution rather than a lasting answer to this year’s $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.
The cuts have affected all federal agencies, and flight delays last week left thousands of travelers frustrated and furious and Congress feeling pressured to respond.
“Republicans claimed victory when the sequester first took effect, and now they’ve decided it was a bad idea all along,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, aired Saturday.
He singled out the GOP even though the bill passed with overwhelming Democratic support in both the House and Senate.
Hours before the federal spending sequester began on March 1, when President Barack Obama predicted that “People are going to be hurt,” he did not add, Trust me, I’ll make sure of it. But he might as well have, as this week’s furloughs of air traffic controllers make obvious. The furloughs reflect panic: Having exaggerated their early predictions that the sequester’s small reduction in spending growth would seriously affect Americans, many Democrats are hell-bent to pre-empt those Americans from drawing two logical conclusions: If one level of cuts is this painless, then maybe we should make … more cuts to expenditures. And while we’re at it, maybe we should ignore the politicians who told us that if Washington lowered the spending growth curve … the Earth will fly into the sun….
So, what could the administration do to make a reduction of barely 1 percent of actual federal outlays — less than $45 billion of this year’s roughly $3.8 trillion — turn citizens against Republicans who oppose more tax increases? Easy, or so the president’s men and women figured: Cue the air controller furloughs! Let’s stall some flights on the tarmac! Sure enough, travel delays have followed. We’re less certain, though, that this hostage-taking will cut the way the White House expects: The scheme relies on citizens being — how to put this delicately? — stupid enough to think that the Federal Aviation Administration can’t find a more flier-friendly way to save $600 million.
Air traffic controllers knew it:
“I am disgusted with everything that I see since the sequester took place,” another FAA employee wrote. “Whether in HQ or at the field level it is clear that our management has no intention of managing anything. The only effort that I see is geared towards generating fear and demonstrating failure.”
Especially when it was reported that air traffic controllers were operating at 22% over capacity.
Obama thought we were too stupid to realize this was a political ploy
He was wrong.