Barack Obama, standing in front of seventeen first responders, blasted Republicans on Tuesday for refusing to raise taxes as part of a deal to avoid the "sequester" cuts. However, it was his own administration who not only championed the idea of the sequester, but he is the man that signed it into law.

Given that Obama signed the sequester into law, one would think you would not hear him do an about face on it by stating that first responders' “ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go... These cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy, they will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls."

This is all par for the course with Washington politicians and we have come to expect nothing from Mr. Obama. After all Barack Obama is a big tax, big government guy.

Interestingly enough though, though he blamed Republicans for this manufactured crisis, which they did agree to, who was ultimately responsible for these cuts that "are not smart,...not fair,...will hurt our economy... and," as Obama simplified in his speech, cause "people to lose their jobs"? We'll let Bob Woodward of The Washington Post answer:

On Fox News Sunday the question from Chris Wallace was, "Bob, as the man who literally wrote the book about the budget battle, put this to rest. Whose idea was the sequester, and did you ever think that we'd actually get to this point?"

"First, it was the White House," Woodward answered. "It was Obama and Jack Lew and Rob Nabors who went to the Democratic Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, and said, 'this is the solution.' But everyone has their fingerprints on this."

Guy Benson elaborates on the fact that "everyone has their fingerprints on this." He writes, "Woodward went on to say that "everyone has their fingerprints" on the package of cuts -- which is true to a large extent.  The idea was the Obama administration's brain child, they proposed it, members of both parties in both houses voted for the 2011 debt deal (in which the sequester was embedded), and the president affixed his signature to it.  He also threatened to veto Republicans' attempts to make the cuts more responsible and targeted.  But now, as Obama tells it, America faces a sequester-induced apocalypse, and it's all the GOP's fault.  Criminals will run free. Airport delays will get worse.  Fires will burn unfought.  Puppies will go uncuddled.  All because Republicans are willing to allow the president's own proposal to go into effect.  Has Obama offered a detailed plan to offset sequestration?  He has not, but he's hitching his wagon to Senate Democrats' plan -- half of which is paid for through new tax increases, while the other half remains heavy on defense cuts.  Obama refers to these tax increases as "tax reform," because they would reduce and close loopholes and tax subsidies for certain families and corporations.  This would include gimmicks like the Buffett Rule and corporate jet depreciation tweaks.  But the genuine tax reform that Republicans have agreed to in principle refers to cutting out clutter in our tax code by closing loopholes and deductions in exchange for lowering tax rates.  This approach tracks closely with the recommendations of Obama's own fiscal commission, which he promptly ignored.  Indeed, Obama just raised tax rates on families and small businesses, and now he's demanding that Uncle Sam come back for another big bite.  He insists that Republicans replace hundreds of billions in previously-agreed-to spending reductions that he signed into law with additional tax increases -- which will likely end up funding more spending.  This is a total nonstarter."

There is no doubt the Federal government has a spending problem and people recognize that. However, the truth is the sequester is nothing more than political theater. It's sort of like that "fiscal cliff" thing we just experienced where the American taxpayer was hung out to dry by both parties. This is all a bunch of hysteria about nothing, well not necessarily nothing, because there are cuts, right? Well, yes sort of, but again, as I've pointed out, they are not real cuts. They are reductions in the percent of growth.

Dan Mitchell rightly asks, "So why is the sequester so bad? Does it slash the budget by 50 percent? Does it shut down departments, programs, and agencies?"

"Sounds good to me," he writes in response to his own question. "We need to reduce the burden of government spending, so some genuine budget cuts would be very desirable."

He then points to the Congressional Budget Offices assessment of the situation. Here is it:

sequester-2013

Ah, now I see the problem. The sequester will "cut" so much that it will be utterly devastating in growing the Federal budget by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years!

Frankly, this is all about nothing, but political grandstanding on both sides. However, it is utterly hypocritical on Obama's part since this was his invention anyway. However, the thing you need to know is that in either scenario you and I and our children and their children are going to be saddled with even more debt because of a bloated Federal government that lacks control.

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