It seems as if President Obama sends out another cabinet secretary every hour to tell the public about the dire consequences we will face if the sequestration cuts are not averted.
You’ve heard them — no vaccinations for children, teachers losing their jobs, less security from terrorist attacks, longer wait times at airports, and fewer food inspections. Now there are even reports that government officials are releasing hundreds of immigrants from deportation centers. What’s next? Is the president going to threaten to open the doors of federal prisons? This is silly.
Sequestration cuts account for less than 3 percent of the federal budget, but the president would have you believe that the world is going to end if they happen. Americans know that at least 3 percent of federal-government spending is wasteful — and they would tell you there’s room to cut the waste without jeopardizing critical services. The president is asking the American people to believe that there is no waste or fat in government. It’s just a ridiculous notion.
It gets better: Even after the sequestration reductions, the federal budget will actually be larger than it was last year. Let that one sink in. Only in Washington, D.C., would this be called a cut.
One idea I had was to delay Obamacare by not implementing the health-insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansions. This would save tens of billions of dollars, and it wouldn’t cut a program that has already started.
Of course, the president has rejected this idea and every other rational proposal to make these cuts in a way that doesn’t jeopardize services. Instead, he’s using scare tactics and political theater to promote the solution he prefers for every problem — more taxes and more spending.
This week he even rejected an idea that would have given the administration more flexibility to make these reductions in a way that wouldn’t affect critical services. Why, you ask? This administration has an insatiable appetite for higher taxes and government growth. There has been over $600 billion in new spending and nearly $6 trillion in new debt under this president. Last month, he approved over $600 billion in new taxes that will affect nearly every American. Now he wants more money out of our paychecks.
It’s the latest example of why the Obama years will be remembered as the Era of Government Greed. There isn’t a problem President Obama thinks can’t be solved by more taxes and more spending. His solution is always to take more money out of the American economy and put it into the government.
You can’t grow the economy by taking money out of the economy. Yet that’s the president’s plan, and it’s leading us down a dangerous path. First, the greed of Wall Street crippled our economy, and now, President Obama’s Government Greed is threatening to drown our economy.
It’s time for the president to show leadership. It’s time for him to send to Congress a list of reductions that preserves critical services. Every governor has had to balance budgets during tough economic times. Every family has to balance budgets, too. Every business has had to become more efficient and tighten its belt. It’s time for the president to stop campaigning, stop deploying scare tactics, and do his job.
— Bobby Jindal is governor of Louisiana. This piece originally appeared at National Review.