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Two years ago the Congress and Administration were stuck in a quagmire. To make the budget work the debt ceiling needed to rise. Republicans argued that the debt ceiling was already high enough, but there were programs that the majority sought, and the President put forth a solution. In two years time a series of automatic budget cuts amounting to 85 billion dollars would take effect in the beginning of 2013. The President’s solution received bipartisan support and became the law of the land. Now that same President is calling on Congress to find the means to fund the very cuts he proposed.
In the 2nd century rabbinic text, the Ethics of the Fathers, Avtalyon argued “Wise men, be careful of your words, lest at a later time others in another land will misunderstand and apply them wrongly.” I would like to think that our President , Senators and Congressmen are all learned. While Avtalyon may have been addressing his peers, his sentiment applies equally well to the leaders of our government.
President Obama, your bluff has been called. If you did not want the sequester, you ought not have developed it and sought support for it. President Obama you know better than to ask for something and then demand that the Congress undo the support it offered. President Obama, we all understand that this sequester was initially a nod to the Conservative forces – so what?
Every employee knows that one can never offer to quit when upset with employer antics unless ready to leave the job. Every parent knows not to threaten children with repercussions that the parent is unwilling to implement. Bullies do not pick on those likely to beat them at their own game. While politicians may make promises willy nilly, they also know better than to make laws that the country cannot tolerate.
President Obama, did you not know of these identical situations? You write books, deliver fantastic speeches, and show yourself to be extremely articulate when prepared. How is it that you did not see the danger of this budget move when you made it?
Instead of seeking replacement of the funds lost by this move, keep the funds off the table. Instead of just giving up, demand a locked door session of Congress. Demand that President Biden of the Senate and that Speaker Boehner of the House keep their chambers closed until members of the two august groups find sensible ways to cut 85 billion from the budget. Instead of cutting out programs that hurt huge segments of the population, find programs that have been ineffective or for which there is ample, financial support from other sectors.
In a multitrillion dollar budget, $85 billion is hardly a meaningful slice. There has to be a way to remove this slice less painfully.
And next time when offering a solution, Mr. President, please make it one with which you are prepared to live; let alone the rest of us.