The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The Madness of King Barack?

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Washington Post Associate Editor and uber-journo Bob Woodward has been blurting out all kinds of cogent things lately, most of it is giving the White House fits. But he is saying what many people are thinking. To wit: What the hell is the President doing? (Woodward is as we speak being slowly turned over the left-wing, big government, spend-it-all editorial spit, roasted over hot coals for being that most heinous of creatures, in their view, the dreaded ³deficit hawk.²) Last week, Woodward fact-checked the White House on the origins of the sequester, handily documenting the fact that the whole cockamamie idea was the brainchild (?) of then-OMB Director Jack Lew and his posse, who then enlisted the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to convince the Republicans to bite (they did). Other White officials doubled down and defended the sequester as essential to the President¹s deficit reduction initiatives (question: what deficit reduction initiatives?). In February, Obama¹s Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients testified before a Senate Budget Committee hearing that ³The president is not proposing that the sequester go away, the sequester is a very important forcing function for us to do deficit reduction. So the sequester will be replaced with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.² After some pushback and a rather counterpoint from some young whippersnapper at the Post, the White House was forced to conceded that Woodward's version of the facts were the correct ones. Today, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Woodward expressed the exasperation that many are feeling with the President's studied nonchalance, his chronic incoherence on the budget and the fiscal state of the country, the mixed messages, as well as his proclivity to blame everyone else for the sequester (even though he himself mitigated in favor of it back in 2011 and came up with it), running around the country doing his photo ops surrounded by human props to pronounce the sequester a catastrophe, "devastating², a "self-inflicted wound that doesn¹t have to happen², and surrogates like Attorney General Eric Holder have explicitly stated that the sequester will make the country ³less safe.² Juxtapose the incoherent ravings of the White House with the eminently rational approach expressed by former Sen. Phil Gramm in today¹s Wall Street Journal: ³The 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 percent more than it spent in 2007. Government spending on nondefense discretionary programs will be 19.2 percent higher and spending on defense will be 13.8 percent higher than it was in 2007.² The wonderful 1994 film The Madness of King George tells the story of England¹s monarch George III, who suffered from a rare, congenital disorder, Porphyria, which caused him to behave maniacally and babble unintelligibly. Steps had to be taken to impose a cure for the good of the king, as well as his subjects. The cure imposed then by the wily Dr. Willis worked for King George and, frankly, it could work now for our increasingly manic and disjointed President Obama; Dr. Willis boldly tells his monarch, ³If you will not behave, then Your Majesty must be restrained.² Fiscal restraint (rather than physical restraint)...good medicine then and now. If we fail to institute it now, God save the taxpayers.

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