March 1st is here. We survived sequestration, which goes into effect today. Does America even care? According to the Daily Caller, despite President Panic's apocalyptic PR parade, sequestration wasn't lighting up the switch boards in Washington. According to a Senate aide for a swing-state Republican, “Less than 10 percent of our calls in February are about the sequester, and the majority favor letting it go through.”
It seems as though Americans have tuned out Washington, acknowledging that they can't get serious about our budget. They have many reasons to believe this. The President himself has only submitted a budget on time once since taking office in 2009. Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget in over 1400 days. They can't even come to a compromise on cutting less than 3% of our budget, threatening apocalyptic doom if we do so. Meanwhile, American incomes have dropped the most in 20 years, American wealth has declined 22%, and most Americans saw a tax increase of 2% this year thanks to payroll tax increases. Washington is looking foolish, while Americans are struggling.
Meanwhile, we have another budget battle right around the corner. The continuing resolution to fund the government expires March 27th. Based on John Boehner's statement this morning after meeting with Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, the House will move next week to extend the continuing resolution to keep the government running past March 27th. He also said that Republicans are done with revenues. But based on Obama's statements this morning, the Democrats are not going to let Republicans get away with that.
Here's an important turning point in the political conversation, based on Obama's remarks this morning on the sequester. From now on, our pathetic economic situation will be blamed on the Republicans “allowing” sequestration to go into effect. Obama told us this morning: “Every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, two months, six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we'll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.” Isn't that convenient? We cannot allow Obama to get away with passing the blame on to the Republicans and sequestration for his failed policies.
- Our economy has endured the slowest recovery in history, BEFORE the sequester.
- Our incomes fell the most in 20 years, BEFORE the sequester.
- Eight million fewer people are in the workforce, BEFORE the sequester.
- Our unemployment rate was expected to stay near 8%, BEFORE the sequester.
- Record number of people are on food stamps and Social Security disability, BEFORE the sequester.
- Almost 50 million people were in poverty, BEFORE the sequester.
The list goes on and on. You could say that “our economic news could have been better” if the American people hadn't failed to remove Obama from office in November. But how do you prove that? You can't. The Republicans cannot allow Obama to define our economic failures by Republicans' position on raising taxes. The fact is that with current laws in place, revenues to the government are projected to climb to above average levels of about 19% of GDP. The issue here is not about raising taxes. The issue is about limiting the size of our government and stop robbing from our children.