Priorities

Well, that nasty world-ending sequester has been with us going on a full week. And yet the sun still rises, and in the East. The oceans haven’t risen to drown coastal cities, and there are still some polar bears alive. Even the Dems have toned down their apocalyptic predictions of the heinous 2% cut in, now pay careful attention, planned increases in spending authority.

That’s right, fellow citizens: as Obama might say via teleprompter (some of those big words have to be phonetically spelled out, else he’ll say “corpse” when he was supposed to say “corps”) the sequester won’t subtract a “single dime” from government spending relative to last year. No cuts in budget authority, just less of an increase.

Nevermind the facts, we’re going to starve children, not inspect meat, fire first responders, cut the border patrol, and, last but not least, stop running White House tours for visitors to our nation’s capital. What will be protected from that nasty sequester?

Well, all sorts of things. Let’s start with posh vacations for Obama and his family. Senator Mike Lee’s website has a nice compilation of candidates for cutting. Obama partisans, and they are many who have imbibed in the Kool-Aid, will counter that the federal budget is complicated, and those in charge simply don’t have the authority to change things.

To which I say, that stinks on ice. Obama has plenty of authority, cabinet secretaries have all sorts of discretion in how funding is allocated. There are some fiscal boundaries that may not be crossed, of course. For example, funds from a defense authorization may not be used to pay for something out of another funding bloc, say Energy and Water.

But take my word as a former insider who has had to deal with budget priorities in the defense sector: there is plenty of flexibility at the department level to re-allocate resources and change funding priorities.

When we don’t allow Americans into their house, the White House, it is simply due to a failure of leadership. A failure, starting with Obama, to ensure that however small the sequester “cuts” might be, they do the least amount of harm.

Obama is doing his level best to ensure that the cuts, real or merely hyped, will at least be perceived as inflicting the greatest pain. This is the exact opposite of what a real leader would do. It illuminates Obama’s true character.

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