Priorities

Oh, and criminals, too. Obambi, flanked by uniformed police and firefighters, gave us the end of the world scenario if that pesky sequester comes to pass. According to Obambi’s house organ, the New York Times, this includes

F.B.I. agents furloughed, criminals released, flights delayed, teachers and police officers laid off and parents frantic to find a place for children locked out of day care centers.

“Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go,” Mr. Obama said, flanked by law enforcement officers at the White House. “Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids.”

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Now it’s obviously a set of dire consequences if that cut in the annual budget comes to pass. A number often cited is that the sequester amounts to 2.4 percent of the budget. Well, not so fast. Cue Karry Kudlow:

For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of GDP (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget. [emphasis added]

So the actual outlay reduction is only half the budget-authority savings. The rest of it will spend out in the years ahead — that is, if Congress doesn’t tamper with it.

And please remember that these so-called cuts come off a rising budget baseline in most cases. So the sequester would slow the growth of spending. These are not real cuts in the level of spending.

Got that? All this sturm und drang over just over a lousy one percent drop in how fast budget authority goes up.

Regardless of how much is actually cut, isn’t it passing strange that Obambi, originally a great proponent of the sequester, is now against it because of, oh, “the children!!!” “police being fired!!!” “criminals being released!!!”

At least those last will provide more votes for Democrats, but I digress. Let’s remember one basic fact: to govern is to choose. A manager, even the dullest, finds out very quickly what part of his domain may be cut with least impact. In the real world, a manager who does not make those kinds of decisions soon finds himself out of a job.

Not so with Obama. He’s in charge of the Executive Branch, and yet finds himself unable to make decisions so that a small cut in budget authority will have minimal impact. Stated differently, if a 1.25 percent cut causes the apocalypse because of poor management, perhaps it’s time to that we all recognize that Obama is, was, and likely always will be an empty suit.

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