Monday, February 11, 2013

Club For Growth: Sequester is Republican

All the beltway talk these days seems to be about the Budget Control Act of 2011 aka "the sequester." The legislation was created after the Republicans took the unprecedented tactic of refusing to raise the US debt limit and threatening to force the United States into default if their demands to slash Social Security and Medicare were not met.

To alleviate the stand off, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) came up with the idea of raising the debt limit in exchange for some cuts now and some to come at the end of 2012. The cuts came from the aforementioned social programs and from the military. The spending cuts were considered to be especially drastic, and this was done to force the two sides to come to a better agreement later on. That later on has already come and gone, and now a new deadline has been set.

These cuts are deep, problematic, and bad for the economy (as all spending cuts are during an economic recovery). But one thing they are not is the fault of Pres. Obama and the Democrats. They did not ask for this. It was Mitch McConnell's idea, for one thing. Secondly, the threat from the Congress to force the US into default to make political points has never happened in American history. Who would be stupid enough to support an intentional default? The tea party, that's who.

After much hand wringing and a lot of finger pointing, the deal was made. Congress passed it, and Pres. Obama reluctantly signed it. In a press conference after the signing, Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), said he was happy with the deal and got "98% of what he wanted." This was a situation designed by the Republicans, supported by the Republicans, and heralded by the Republicans.

But that was 2011. Now, post Obama's re-election, and with the sequester deadline looming, the Grand Ole Party has changed their tune on the whole thing. Now, it's Obama's fault.

Republican members of Congress have been all over the media for the last few days calling it the "Obamaquester" (clever, guys) and claiming this was the president's idea all along. Leave it to the Republicans, they never run out of ways to blame others for their failings.

But, for some inexplicable reason, right wing lobbyists Club For Growth (supporters of the sequester) are taking to the media to contradict the latest GOP talking points on the sequester, and insisting the Republicans take credit for the drastic cuts.

"Every time I hear the Republicans call this the "President's sequester" my head explodes because all of the Republicans voted for the legislation that created the sequester," said Club For Growth's communication director Barney Keller. “Fiscal conservatives should insist that the full amount of cuts are made now, and should oppose replacing them with promised cuts that could be abolished by future Congresses. House Republicans have already said that they are willing to allow sequestration to occur, and Senate Republicans should follow their lead."

At least there is one honest right-winger left.

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