In a startling claim, President Obama today said the sequester he agreed to was never designed to happen.
“The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth,” he said. “And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.”
The claim is part of a White House speech in which the president sought to wash his hands of the potential effects of the sequester, repeatedly intoning that “Congress” must act and not “allow” the draconian cuts to take place.
And yet, no deal to avoid the cuts will happen without Obama’s agreement.
The president, who still suggests the current state of the economy is George W. Bush’s fault, in his remarks today insisted on tax increases he knows Congressional Republicans oppose as part of a deal to avert the sequester.
Surrounding himself with they type of first responders he says might lose their jobs if the sequester goes into effect, Obama painted a dramatic portrait of the consequences of failing to avoid the massive cuts.
“Are you willing to see a bunch of first responders lose their job because you want to protect some special interest tax loophole?” Obama asked. “Are you willing to have teachers laid off, or kids not have access to Head Start, or deeper cuts in student loan programs?”