Democrats are still doing their best to monopolize on the sequester, insisting that it be blamed on Republicans in Congress instead of their own leader: Barack Obama. They've now set up a website to show the American people how Republicans are "putting tax breaks for the rich over middle-class families." The website fails to mention that the idea for the sequester came from Barack Obama's own White House.
All of this is part of Obama's plan to maximize pain on the American people, hoping that Americans will suffer enough by 2014 to vote the Republicans out of office.
In an internal government email, an official from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was told not to try and minimize the impact of the sequester on his region: “So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” In other words, make sure that the sequestration cuts you are forced to make maximizes the pain for his region in order to live up to the manufactured hype of sequestration cuts.
In another unnecessarily dramatic display of the impact of sequestration, the White House has decided to cancel tours as we approach the popular Spring tourist season. If you call the White House inquiring about the tour, the message explicitly states that this is because of sequestration. Meanwhile, the White House still employs its Chief Calligrapher, who earns a salary to the tune of $96,725. She also has two deputies who earn nearly the same amount. These White House staffers survived sequestration cuts, yet unpaid volunteers who give White House tours had to be cut? This is a political ploy and nothing more, and it was the final straw for Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert. He filed an amendment to the continuing resolution to prohibit Obama from traveling to his golf games using taxpayer dollars. The amendment reads, “None of the funds made available by a division of this Act may be used to transport the President to or from a golf course until public tours of the White House resume.” Keep in mind that the tax dollars used to fund Obama's recent golf outing with Tiger Woods could have prevented the furlough of 341 federal employees.
Even after debunking Obama's claim last week that Capitol janitors would see a pay cut because of sequestration, the administration continues to push versions of that example. Gene Sperling and Jay Carney have come forward over the last few days to express their concern that Capitol janitors will not earn as much overtime pay. Somehow, this excuse is supposed to make us feel much better and justify Obama's outrageous comments from last week. So let's say a janitor at the Capitol earns $50,000 a year (that's a happy medium between the earnings of daytime versus nighttime janitors). The average overtime pay for janitors in 2012 was $304 per employee. So the doom-and-gloom predicted is that janitors will go from earning $50,304 to perhaps $50,200 a year? Yet Jay Carney says that this reduction is pay above their salary will result in janitors who depend on this overtime pay failing “to make ends meet.” Again, the over-the-top rhetoric that continues from this administration is ridiculous.
Remember when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned that the sequester would force the USDA to furlough meat inspectors? As recently as this past weekend, Vilsack warned, “Make no mistake about it, there is not enough flexibility in the sequester language for me to move money around to avoid furloughs of food inspectors.” So while threatening the layoff of meat inspectors, the Wall Street Journal reports that “two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week. The event will feature USDA speakers, field trips, a banquet and a tasting reception, according to the conference website. Conference organizers promise the tasting will be a 'mouthwatering event' featuring 'fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies.'” Another convention featuring wine tastings will take place in Corvallis, Oregon in April. Again, maximize the public pain and scare the American people over cutbacks in departmental conferences and wine tastings.
Meanwhile, we have learned from House investigators that the number of illegal immigrants to be released because of sequestration intends to grow. ICE plans to release as many as 5,000 illegal immigrants onto streets across America. While Janet Napolitano has tried to shirk responsibility for the decision, an internal document confirms the calculated plan to release these illegal immigrants. Even worse, according to House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., administration officials “did not demonstrate any consideration of the impact this decision would have on the safety of Americans.”
You'll be happy to note that sequestration didn't stop the TSA from buying $50 million worth of new uniforms for its agents. Also, while IRS and Treasury officials have warned that their employees will experience furloughs due to sequestration, this will not stop or even slow the implementation of taxes and fees associated with ObamaCare. Nor will sequestration stop the federal government from actually posting new job openings! On Monday, with sequestration cuts officially in place, federal agencies had posted 400 job ads, including summer “recreation aides” for the US Forest Service and “insect production workers” to help grow bollworms in Phoenix.
All the while, the Obama-mania media is willing to play along with Obama's doom-and-gloom narrative. Yesterday on Good Morning America, reporter Bianna Golodryga expressed her disappointment that the stock market was doing so well, despite the sequester. She said, "Yeah, isn't that kind of sad? It was basically anticipated that we were going to these spending cuts. You're not seeing a huge effect on the economy.” This is not surprising, considering that according to analysts at the Media Research Center, two-thirds of the news stories about sequestration from February 14th to March 1st were parroting Obama's apocalyptic predictions.
I wonder how much lower Obama's approval rating has to drop before he quits the doomsday PR parade and begins to govern.