Senate Exposes The Sham of Sequestration Compromise
Two years ago, President Barack Obama shoved his audacity of hope into the garbage disposal, making a deal with Republicans to create drastic budget cuts in domestic social programs. Obama assured us that it was a carefully crafted compromise that would ensure that the government wouldn’t shut down and would help politicians reach a sustainable budget arrangement. We might find the domestic cuts painful, but the Republicans would find accompanying budget cuts to the military painful too, and would be motivated to find an alternative path.
When activists on the Left protested, Democratic insiders sneered that the activists just didn’t understand what a genius Barack Obama is. “Barack Obama is playing a game of political chess, and you’re just playing checkers,” they said. In the end, we would see how right Obama was to go along with big cuts in social spending.
So, what’s happened since? In spite of the sacrifices we made for Obama’s sequestration compromise with the GOP, the Republicans are still up to their old antics, threatening to shut the government down if they don’t get what they want.
There still isn’t any sustainable budget arrangement.
The domestic budget cuts are still in place, but the GOP-controlled Congress is pushing legislation to undo sequestration only for the military. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted on whether to move forward with one such bill, H.R. 2685, which dramatically escalates military spending. Senate Democrats only barely stopped the bill from moving forward – no thanks to Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, who voted with the Republicans. Only 42 Democrats were willing to stand against the lopsided abandonment of the sequestration deal.
If things keep going this way, soon, the only part of Obama’s compromise we’ll be left with is the part that hurts working Americans.
If this is how Barack Obama plays chess, he needs to think about taking up another game.