Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn … A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline … It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine … — R.E.M., “It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine.”
Dear world, I sit here writing from a secret underground bunker, the last refuge for my family as the world burns, the moon having turned red and the rivers running with blood, all because the intransigent Republicans refused to budge on (more) tax increases for the rich in exchange for a “balanced” approach of “smart” spending cuts by Obama. We now suffer from the “brutal” and “arbitrary” spending cuts of 2.2 percent that kicked in when the Republicans allowed the sequester to move forward.
I’ll write as long as I can until my family starves to death, but thirty gallons of water, a case of creamed corn, and a hundred packages of Ramen noodle soup go only so far with a family of 10. Well, nine. I secretly decided to sacrifice my 12-year-old son and use him for food. A harsh move, granted, but necessary to prolong life for the rest of us. He’ll probably think I did it because I like him least, but that’s not true. It was a purely practical decision. He is a big, strong boy, with the most muscle mass. Seriously, the kid is as strong as a bull! I sure will miss him.
A horrible thing happened to Barack Obama last week; namely, the end of the world that he prophesied would come due to the sequester cuts came and went, and no one noticed or cared, despite his best efforts. Indeed, according to an email to Charles Brown (of APHIS, a subdivision of the Department of Agriculture, who’d asked for latitude in implementing budget cuts so as to minimize the impact) from his superiors, leaked to the press, he was told to make the cuts as painful as possible to prove the cuts were as bad as Obama said they would be, and therefore force Congress to restore the spending.
So why would the Obama administration want to maximize pain for the American people? For the same reason they do everything: to maximize political power through controlling the official narrative of political discourse, making Republicans appear cruel and heartless and the Democrats as the white knights coming in to save us all. Former Obama chief of staff, and current Chicago mayor, Rahm Emmanuel famously exhorted Obama to “never let a crisis go to waste.” Now Obama, having reaped the rewards of turning each crisis to his favor and expanding his power, now resorts to manufacturing crises.
Obama knows his policies have created a stagnant economy, prolonged high unemployment, falling income for the average American, higher energy costs, and in general a far lower quality of life than we should have. These things are in line with his goal of reducing wealth in the name of “income equality,” but Obama also realizes people are very unhappy about it, and he needs a scapegoat. And what better scapegoat than Republicans? For Obama it is the perfect two-fer … he gets the statist, big government policies he wants, and he gets to destroy Republicans with blame for Americans’ suffering.
And if we are to be honest, these “brutal” cuts are a tiny fraction of what they should be considering the growth in government over the last two decades. According to the White House’s website, the projected spending for this year under Obama is $$3.803 TRILLION, a 27.5 percent increase over the last year under George Bush (FY2008, $2.982 trillion; the FY2009 spending began Oct. 1, 2008, and includes the $800 billion “stimulus” passed by Obama shortly after taking office in January 2009). Bush was a big spender as well, increasing the federal budget by just over $1 trillion in his two terms. This means that, between the first year of the Clinton presidency, and the projected budget for 2016 (the last year of the Obama presidency), the size of the federal government has increased an astounding 307 percent!
Yet Obama wants us to believe a 2.2 percent budget cut means an end to essential government services and suffering for the poor and vulnerable. And herein lies the truth about liberals and government spending; the proper size of government is always a little bigger than it is right now, and every dollar of taxpayer money is sacred and spent wisely and critical to the operation of government.
So Obama comes before the American people now, hands wrung as he lists his litany of lamentations, a veritable cornucopia of tragic travails inflicted upon the American people by evil Republicans. In his address, surrounded by first responders, Obama claimed the sequester would mean we could not deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to protect American interests, and that air traffic controllers would be laid off, as would firefighters, cops, TSA agents, meat inspectors, teachers and so forth. Nonsense!
Of course, he also claimed that under his administration, deficits have been cut by more than $2.5 trillion — a curious claim considering the national debt has risen by more than $6 trillion in just four years under his watch. The “cuts” were not actual spending cuts, but reductions in the rate of future automatic budget increases. If you plan on buying a new car but, because of a tighter budget, you spend $30,000 instead of the $45,000 you wanted to spend, you have not “saved” $15,000 … you have spent $30,000. Your expenditures have still risen over what they were yesterday, just by less than you anticipated.
Obama is right about one thing though: both parties need to come together to fix this situation, and I just happen to have some solutions that will help us cut spending in a “balanced” way, with everyone sacrificing a little for the greater good, having “some skin in the game” as Obama likes to say.
We can start with Obama. He can cut back on the number of vacations (averaging four to five per year), the campaign trips and photo ops. His recent vacation to Hawaii cost taxpayers $7 million, the equivalent of the annual salary for 155 firefighters. The TSA just signed a $50 million contract for new uniforms, which equals the annual salary of 909 elementary school teachers. Of course, since the TSA is incompetent at catching potential terrorists, we could eliminate their $60 billion budget and just have airline passengers grope each other before flights; we still catch potential terrorists, and at least the average airline passenger will have the decency not to molest small children and the elderly, which cannot be said of the TSA.
We could also eliminate the $250 million just pledged to the Muslim Brotherhood-run country of Egypt, which wants to kill us anyway, and make Mexican drug cartels find their own assault weapons instead of getting them from the Obama Department of Justice. We could eliminate the numerous “conferences” organized for government bureaucrats in exotic locations, complete with wine tastings and other lavish luxuries.
But the reality is that we must do something, and fast. Otherwise, the American people may just wake up and see how badly they are being scammed by D.C politicians. Or, to quote D.C. lobbyist Emily Holubowich, as reported in the Washington Post, “The worst-case scenario for us is the sequester hits and nothing really bad happens.” Worst case for lobbyists, politicians and other corrupt cronies, yes. But just what the Americans need, to see that big government can be shrunk and our lives still go on. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll then see a return of the liberty-loving, rugged individualists that made America so great in the first place.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville
resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County
Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.