By choosing not to ask for a single dime of deficit reduction from closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected, this budget identifies deep cuts to investments like education and research – investments critical to creating jobs and growing the middle class. And to save money, this budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program—undercutting the guaranteed benefits that seniors have earned and forcing them to pay thousands more out of their own pockets. We’ve tried this top-down approach before. The President still believes it is the wrong course for America.The White House’s take on Paul Ryan’s latest plan sounds like the same kind of statement they’ve made about everything Paul Ryan’s done since the beginning of time.
Instead of directing his cabinet secretaries to trim waste in their departments, he’s going to go after first responders. And teachers. And almost any other sympathetic constituency you can think of. And he’ll arbitrarily close parks and monuments too – all to force Americans to accept higher taxes. He’ll claim his hands are tied.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Throwing tough words at President Obama regarding the sequestration deadline, which passed at midnight without a deal in sight. House Speaker John Boehner, while calling the cuts “not smart,” instead pointed out that his own party was on the hook to find a solution … but it hadn’t.
Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement, I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country. That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.Legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward • Making a veiled comparison of Obama to Nixon on “Morning Joe” this morning — specifically in regards to Obama’s decision to announce an aircraft carrier could not go to the Persian Gulf due to the budget issues. This is a new approach for Woodward, we’ll give him that.
Because the sequester is (and is likely to continue to be) very ill-defined in the minds of most Americans, the politics of it will devolve into a popularity contest between the major players. Which gets us to the fact that Obama is at (or close to) his high-water mark in terms of job approval, while Congress sits in political reporter/used car salesman territory.The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, theorizing that there’s no way possible way Congress can win the sequester battle against President Obama. The thinking here is is based on three premises: One, that Obama believes the sequester ultimately will not be avoided, because Congress is dysfunctional and if they could have struck a deal on these cuts, there wouldn’t have been a sequester to begin with; two, that effects of the sequestered cuts will be felt by many Americans once they come into effect; and three, that Obama is significantly more popular than Congress. Given these three assumptions, it seems reasonable enough to conclude that if the sequester happens, Congress—and the GOP-led House of Representatives—will be blamed by the American public. It’s not a bad theory, though it’s still quite speculative given the assumptions. More information on the sequester here. source
By the way, it’s worth noting that the bill is intended as a backup plan, in case members of Congress fail to come to a bipartisan solution on the issue.”We’re doing exactly what the president said we would do last month … which is we’re preparing. We’re going to be ready,” said White House Chief of staff Denis McDonough.