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Mark Caserta: Obama's lack of flexibility is a ploy

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The 2013 sequester is just wrong on so many levels I'm not sure where to begin.

Progressive failures by our nation's leadership ultimately led to the automatic spending cuts our country now faces and admittedly there is plenty of blame to go around the inept halls of Congress.

It's indefensible, however, that President Obama would attempt to mislead the nation as to the origin of the sequester proposal. And in doing so, ensure its impact is potently felt by the American people simply to prove a point.

Originally revealed in Bob Woodward's book, "The Price of Politics," Woodward describes how top aides to President Obama brought the idea to Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the summer of 2011. Since then, the White House has admitted, on multiple occasions, that the automatic spending cuts were, indeed, the president's idea.

Last weekend, Gene Sperling, the president's chief economic advisor, when pressed in an interview with NBC's David Gregory, admitted that while no one meant for it to go through, the sequestration was, in fact, President Obama's plan and that "We put forth the design of the sequestration."

But liberals hate attaching responsibility to this president. So the White House is propagating a campaign to "deflect" ownership of the president's sequester idea by solely blaming the Republicans for allowing it to transpire and working to ensure the spending cuts are as painful as the president promised.

An internal email recently discovered by the Washington Times suggests that even if the negative effects of the budget cuts could be softened by re-allocating spending, the White House has absolutely no interest in doing so.

In the email sent last week by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Mr. Brown asked "If there was any latitude" in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.

Reportedly, Brown said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: "We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs. So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."

President Obama provided a "token" sample of his intent when he canceled White House tours for the "foreseeable future," citing sequestration budget cuts.

Are you kidding me? This president's recent golf weekend at the yacht club with Tiger Woods, which cost taxpayers over a million dollars, could have kept White House tours operating for weeks!

The ineffectiveness of Congress to budget our hard-earned tax dollars is abhorrent. But misleading Americans by feigning attempts at resolving issues isn't the leadership we need. This White House spends more time "camouflaging" a problem than they do working toward a solution.

And in the end, American taxpayers always seem to lose.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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