On the evening of Feb. 20, President Barack Obama’s political strategy regarding the effects on the economy of the looming mandatory spending cuts known as sequestration was characterized as “political gamesmanship” by former Democrat Rep. Artur Davis on the program "Your World with Neil Cavuto," according to a transcript on the Fox News website.
The former Democratic congressman and member of the Congressional Black Caucus exposed the president’s scheme to place the blame on GOP members of congress for the failing U.S. economy by allowing the sequester to go into effect on March 1, despite the glaring fact that President Barack Obama was the architect of the mandatory cuts in 2011.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana confirmed on Feb. 19 that President Obama was the mastermind behind the creation of the sequester when he told local CBS affiliate KTVQ in his home state, “The President’s part of the sequester – the White House recommended it, frankly, back in August 2011, so now we’re feeling the effects of it.”
Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and author of “The Price of Politics” – an investigative book about the 2011 debt ceiling deal that produced the sequester – claimed in response to a question about the origins of the spending cuts on a Fox News Sunday panel on Feb. 17 that, “First, it was the White House. It was Obama and Jack Lew and Rob Nabors who went to the Democratic Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, and said, 'this is the solution.’”
President Barack Obama’s strategy, according to former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, is to deflect responsibility for the failing economy when it goes back into recession by blaming the GOP for allowing the sequestration to go forward, when he said:
“What's happening with sequestration - and a couple of your guests earlier alluded to this - President Obama has a political strategy. This is act three in a three-part play. Two years ago, when the debt ceiling debate happened, President Obama said, Republicans in Congress, you have got a choice. Either give me what I want, or you are going to get blamed for the economy cratering.
We saw part two last December. President Obama said, give me the tax increases that I want, or you're going to be blamed for the economy contracting. Now we see part three. Give me the tax increases I want, or you're going to be blamed for sequestration happening next week. It's a political tactic. And I guess that you could argue that it has worked because he got away with it the first two times.
But sometimes what is smart politics is exactly the opposite kind of governance, and it's the irresponsible. So, as a practical matter, I don't think any of us know what will happen next week. I would be as surprised as you are if Barack Obamas' administration allowed some of the cuts to happen that the president has been talking about the last few days.”
Former Rep. Davis described President Barack Obama’s role in promoting the U.S. economic slowdown by ending the payroll tax holiday when the president proclaimed victory in the fiscal cliff legislation, by telling Cavuto:
“Well, President Obama did nothing to renew the hike in FICA taxes. And, in addition to that, the consumer confidence is starting to slow down again. And everyone in your audience ought to appreciate that in the last quarter of last year, we had contraction in this economy. We had this economy not just slow down. We had the economy contract. We had it go in reverse.”
Neil Cavuto added, “And we get another quarter like that this year, we're, we're, we're back in a recession.”
In a serene and discouraged tone, Davis replied:
“We would be literally back in a recession.”
Respected mainstream economists like David Malpass have warned since last September, prior to President Obama’s victory in the November election, that the U.S. economy was headed for an economic recession in 2013.
Similarly, conservative GOP 2012 presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered a strong economic warning in early-October 2012 – before the election – in an editorial he co-authored with former Reagan administration official and respected senior fellow at the Heartland Institute Peter Ferrara, writing:
“We need to remember that a deeper recession starting from over 8% unemployment will be a disaster that shrinks federal revenues, further increases the deficit and makes the next few years very dangerous for Americans.”
House Speaker John Boehner and senior Republicans in Washington D.C. have yet to make a sustained and compelling argument to the American people that President Barack Obama has wrecked the economy with four years of failed policies.
Not surprisingly, President Obama is taking advantage of the ineptitude of the establishment Republicans in congress by preemptively placing all negative economic performance in 2013 on his political opponents as a way of dodging the responsibility of his office and accountability for failed leadership.
Former Rep. Artur Davis was an elected Democrat congressman who seconded President Barack Obama’s nomination at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He switched parties to become a Republican after he was defeated in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary in Alabama.
Steven Holmes is the Los Angeles Political Buzz Examiner.