The president’s response to the sequester demonstrates how out of touch he is with the real world of working families. Even after the sequester, the federal government will spend $15 billion more than it did last year, and 30% more than it spent in 2007. Government spending on nondefense discretionary programs will be 19.2% higher and spending on defense will be 13.8% higher than it was in 2007.
For a typical American family that earns less than it did in the year President Obama was elected, the anguished cries and dark predictions coming out of the White House should elicit not sympathy but revulsion.
When the 1985 sequester was created, the formula for cuts was closely examined, debated, amended and agreed to by a Democratic House and a Republican Senate and White House. Today’s sequester is denounced because of the allegedly arbitrary nature of its across-the-board cuts. Yet the sequester formula that goes into effect on Friday preserves the spending priorities legislated by the Congress and the president, including exemptions and limitations they favored when the Budget Control Act of 2011 became law. The president himself first proposed the sequester. He may not like the way it works, but he has offered no real alternative.