President Obama spent much of last week warning of the dire economic consequences of allowing the scheduled budgetary cuts to occur. Now that the sequester cuts have occurred, Americans wait in hushed anticipation of the promised boom of our economy all-but collapsing under the weight of a 2.4% budget decrease.
The president’s rhetoric has largely been reported, even by many outlets in the liberal mainstream media, to have been a bluff to scare the GOP into acquiescing into increasing taxes. However, the Obama Administration seems to have missed their mark as the GOP did not cave.
However, the Obama Administration has begun on an odd campaign to highlight the dangers of the sequester cuts by releasing thousands of illegal immigrants and blaming their release on the modest budget cuts that the White House pushed in 2011.
Furthermore, as it came to light last week that the Department of Homeland Security was releasing thousands of illegal immigrants, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has claimed the number to be “several hundred.” However, this contradicts a March 1 report by The Associated Press, which said that internal agency documents show that her managers had already released 2,000 detainees, and planned to release 3,000 more detainees.
The Obama Administration has received much criticism from the several mainstream media outlets who speculate that the drastic actions by the government serve as a direct move to prove a point to the GOP and cause them to agree to a tax increase. It has been unclear if the release of thousands of more illegal immigrants would commence in March amidst the political backlash; Napolitano admitted on Monday that the plan is to continue to release illegal immigrants for “the foreseeable future.”
At a breakfast meeting hosted by Politico, Napolitano stated,
“We’re going to continue to [release illegal immigrants] … for the foreseeable future. We are going to manage our way through this by identifying the lowest risk detainees, and putting them into some kind of alternative to release.”
“’Now that we are having to reduce or eliminate basically overtime both for TSA and for customs, now that we have instituted a hiring freeze…we will begin today sending out furlough notices,’ Napolitano said. ‘We are already seeing the effects,’ adding that lines are ‘150 to 200 percent as long as we would normally expect.’”
While Napolitano repeated the message of the Obama Administration by claiming that cuts have forced a stretching of vital government resources, she did not discuss the allocation of budgetary cuts.
The Republican National Committee recently struck back at the Obama Administration’s narrativeby releasing a video, criticizing the wasteful spending allowed to continue as the Obama Administration cuts active-duty military pay and other vital government expenditures.
Lachlan Markay of The Washington Free Beacon reported,
“Rather than letting illegal immigrants loose, Obama should quit protecting things like funding for robo-squirrels,” said NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato in a statement.
The “robo-squirrels” comment is a reference to a $325,000 federal grant used to build a robotic squirrel as part of a biology experiment.
“President Obama is trying his best to scare Americans,” Scarpinato said. “This is a deliberate campaign by the president to try and convince Americans that there is nothing in government that can be cut…”
That point echoed comments from Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) who called on the Defense Department to “to eliminate unnecessary jobs and programs that have little to do with defense” before furloughing Pentagon employees.
Coburn released a report in October detailing 100 “wasteful” federal spending programs totaling more than $18 billion annually.
“These and the other examples of mismanagement, wasteful spending and special interest deals highlighted in this report represent missed opportunities to assist those in need and to shore up the nation’s finances,” the report stated.
The Obama Administration continues to maintain that in order to accommodate the $85 billion in budgets cuts, essential services will need to be cut unless Republicans agree to a tax increase. However, of the $85 billion in cuts, only slightly less than half are actual cuts to outlays- money that has been committed to be actually spent this fiscal year. The rest comes from cuts to budget authority spending- money that can be committed to be expended this fiscal year.