Speaker of the House John Boehner very carefully lays out the history of the looming Obama Sequester in the Wall Street Journal, and everyone should read it and send it round to their friends, tweet the link, and listen for its discussion on radio talk shows and in cable land.
Here is the key reality the Speaker lays out:
Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn’t even voted on a solution, let alone passed one. By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.
The sequester appears unavoidable because the House GOP simply will not accept, and the country’s reeling economy cannot endure, more tax hikes.
Rather than add more tax hikes, the Congress should target for repeal particularly ruinous ones such as the tax on medical devices which is crippling one of our country’s great growth industries.
The Department of Defense should not suffer even more gigantic cuts. The savaging of the Pentago must end.
The savings needed to avoid the Obama Sequester are avilable.
The CPI in Social Security can be “chained.”
The retirement age can be increased slowly beyond its already established, very gradual incline.
Medicare eligibility must be tied to that same gently rising standard.
Medicaid needs to be capped and block-granted to the states that are far more effectively positioned to use the money well and to control th costs of caring for the poor.
This could have all been done but the president is intent on spending his last four years as he did his first four years –spending. This is not what the country voted for though of course he did win the election. This wasn’t a mandate he ever articulated much less won.
Gridlock is here for the next two years, and all the awful consequences. Then voters will decide. An electorate much more similar to that of 2010 than of 2012. And whatever the consequences of the Obama Sequester –and almost everyone says they will be severe– will be the president’s record when that voting takes place.