By Greg Campbell
The battle over the sequester cuts- spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect on Friday- is still raging on and President Obama has gone on the road to try and convince America of the virtue of his vision- a tactic that he has been employing more and more since his re-election.
The sequester cuts are cuts that have long been scheduled as a compromise to the Democrats’ demands for increased borrowing in August of 2011. As America approached the debt ceiling, the Democrats wanted an additional $2.4 trillion in borrowed money- money that would have to be paid back and something the Republicans claimed to be vehemently against.
However, after negotiations, the Republicans acquiesced to raising the debt ceiling in exchange for the promised cuts. President Obama and leading Democrats touted the deal as a success and now, with the borrowed money a distant memory, the president and leading Democrats have tried to paint the Republicans as unreasonable for continuing to support the scheduled cuts of $85 billion.
The president kicked-off his campaign to get Americans to support his disdain for the cuts in a shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. Using people in the background of his speeches has become a trademark of Obama’s campaign-style speeches in his second term. ABC News reported,
“’I’m not interested in spin. I’m not interested in playing a blame game. At this point, all I’m interested in is just solving problems,’ Obama told a crowd of workers inside a submarine assembly facility at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.
’I want us to be able to look back five years from now, 10 years from now, and say we took care of our business and we put an end to some of these games that maybe, I guess, are entertaining for some but are hurting too many people,’ he said, referring to congressional Republicans.”
Republicans have charged Democrats with purposefully inflating the severity of the cuts to the American people. In addition to the fact that the cuts are already-agreed-upon cuts, America currently operates with projected government expenditures for 2013 reaching $3.6 trillion. It is only a projected budget, however, as the Senate has not passed a budget since 2009.
However, assuming America’s projected spending of $3.6 trillion is correct, the sequester cuts of $85 billion represents roughly 2.4% in spending cuts. That is the equivalent of a household that operates on $3000-a-month cutting expenses by $72.
Still, the Department of Homeland Security has begun releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants from jails in anticipation of spending cuts, angering citizens and law enforcement officials who have charged the government with endangering the public to make a political point.
“Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said Tuesday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 500 detainees in his county alone over the weekend. A spokesman for Babeu told FoxNews.com that ICE officials have said they plan to release a total of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants…
Babeu described the move as a ‘mass budget pardon’ and suggested the administration was going to unnecessary lengths to demonstrate the impact of the so-called sequester.
‘President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his hometown, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this sequester battle,’ he said.”
Despite the theatrics and brash talk, Congressional Republicans have claimed that the cuts “are going to happen” and have criticized the president’s willingness to tour the country espousing rhetoric instead of discussing the possibility of a deal that reallocates where the cuts will occur.