Does the following sound familiar?
The budget sequester Obama opposed will hurt the economy, arbitrarily cut $85 billion in spending, and put hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work; yet Republicans refuse to compromise.
There are nine lies right there. Let’s break them down for the low-information voter:
- The sequester will hurt the economy. Spending cuts don’t hurt the economy; they show investors and employers that we’re trying to resolve our debt crisis. They also pave the way for tax cuts, which—from JFK to Reagan to Clinton to Bush—have stimulated the economy.
- Obama opposed the sequester. Obama swore to veto attempts to repeal the sequester his party stuck into the Budget Control Act. Democrats bet that in the sequester game of chicken, Republicans would flinch, because they wouldn’t be able to stomach defense cuts. Democrats bet wrong.
- Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will lose their jobs. Whatever time these workers spend off the job, they will most likely be paid for via furlough appeals or unemployment benefits. No furloughs even begin until April, which gives negotiators a month to work things out.
- Fires won’t be put out, crime won’t be stopped, air traffic will halt, etc. All the essential functions of government will continue during a sequester. Most agencies have ballooned since Obama took office; a return to 2009 levels isn’t going to send them into a tailspin.
- The cuts are arbitrary. The bipartisan supercommittee hashed out the cuts in the sequester, half each from domestic and military spending. Yet propagandists make it sound as though lawmakers opened the federal registry and randomly targeted hapless employees to fire.
- Republicans won’t compromise. Republicans didn’t consider the sequester ideal, but realized it might be the only way to force Democrats to cut spending. Republicans are willing to take a haircut on defense if Democrats will trim a whisker off the leviathan entitlement state.
- There will be large budget cuts. The sequester will yield cuts of $85 billion—a whopping three percent of the projected $3.6 trillion 2013 spending (also known as a “budget” before Democrats came to power). The Washington Post admitted, “[S]ome White House allies worry the slow-moving sequester may fail to live up to the hype.”
- The sequester will cut $85 billion out of the 2013 budget. Actually, it will cut only $44 billion. The $85 billion figure references the cut in “spending authority,” the other half of which Congress will merely postpone indefinitely until voters have forgotten about it.
- The sequester will cut spending. Actually, the sequester will merely slow spending increases. Even with the sequester, the 2013 budget will be larger than in 2012. The sequester will no more cut spending than shooting a bullet through shrubbery will reverse its course.
And one more:
10. Republicans can win the sequester fight. Republicans can win the sequester fight… only if they stand up and make the above points—in easy-to-digest language, with concrete examples, refutations of fear-mongering quotes, and relentless attacks on Obama for lying to Americans and treating them like children.