As in negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner to avert the fiscal cliff, the president has again offered no genuine spending cuts. Now, he says sequestration will require the U.S. aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf must to be cut in half. A 10% cut in naval appropriations requires a 50% reduction in that essential effort, because the Navy is already stretched too thin by Obama's repeated defense cuts and his new commitments in the Pacific.
The president is motivated by political gain to manufacture for taxpayer pain. The real spending choices imposed by sequestration, and that the president wrote the law that requires it, is poorly understood by most voters. He is exploiting the bully pulpit to wrongly blame House Republicans for what will surely follow.
The economy was teetering on recession as early as November. If Americans have another bout with 10% unemployment, he will tag sequestration and the GOP for the mess.
Neither will be true. If we have a recession, other policy failures and the January tax increases are to blame, but long lines, shortages and rising unemployment will set the stage for ousting the House Republicans in 2014.
Americans will suffer needlessly when the cuts come. Obama, seeing partisan advantage, is putting politics above public welfare.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.