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“No, No, it’s his fault!”

In 8 days, $85.4 billion will be automatically cut from the federal budget: $42.7 billion in defense cuts (a 9.4% cut), $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary cuts (a 8.2 percent cut), $9.9 billion in Medicare cuts (a 2 percent cut), $4 billion in other mandatory cuts (a 7.6 percent cut to non-defense programs, and a 10 percent cut to mandatory defense programs).

“These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs,” is how President Obama classified these cuts during his State of the Union address.   In an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Speaker Boehner said,” A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more.”   From all the rhetoric from both sides, the sequester is not only the wrong way to fix our economic mess, but it could also derail any economic growth we’ve seen, weaken our defensive capability and hurt average Americans.  So what is Washington doing?Playing the blame game.  Republicans have been making passing comments blaming President Obama for over a year, but the blame game is in high gear now.  #Obamaquester, a new hashtag created by the GOP showcases their shifting of all blame for the sequester onto the President.  Representatives and senators who wear the elephant pins on their lapels are saying, “President Obama’s devastating military cuts,” and the like now almost daily.

President Obama’s blame game is more subtle, using phrases like,” Congress passed a law…” and avoiding any language that would indicate he was involved at all.

Each side is spending considerable amounts of time and energy in painting themselves as heroes of Middle Class American and the other side as destroyers of the Middle Class, while doing nothing substantial to ACTUALLY help the Middle Class along with the rest of America from the results of this terrible excuse for a solution.

What makes this even sadder is that both sides are wrong!  Let’s look at what actually has happened.

In the fight over the debt ceiling limit in 2011, multiple plans were raised to cut spending, increase revenue and create a path to a more secure economic future for the country, but ALL of them fell short, some at the last minute.   Neither side would take their nasty tasting medicine, neither would put country before politics and we had our credit downgraded.  At the White House, an idea emerged, a possible way to get some movement, some action.  In order to force Congress to make the hard decisions, the cost of not making those decisions had to be hard, so hard that no one would want to pay that cost and it was vital to make certain both sides felt that high cost.  Enter the sequester: deep, to the point of devastation, cuts to both the military (Republican sacred cow) and to domestic programs (Democrat holy grail).  Everyone on Capital Hill would fight tooth and nail to avoid this kind of harm to their pets, or so the White House thought.  Quick side note: you might wonder about where the idea of across the board, automatic cuts came from.  We don’t know for certain, but this is not the first time the idea has emerged.  President Reagan signed “the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985,”otherwise known as the Gramm-Rudd Hollings Act.  This law also included across the board, automatic cuts.

The White House sent the idea to Congress on July 12, 2011, where it is true that both Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner objected to it for the very reason that it was being offered, the deep, devastating cuts.  At this point, all that was before Congress was an idea, a proposal.  All Sen. Reid or Speaker Boehner had to do was refuse to introduce the idea to their respective houses.  They could have laughed in the President’s face and told him there was no way that they would ever allow that idea to become law.

But there was no laughing in the president’s face.

On July 31, 2011, it was announced that a deal was made.  On Aug. 1, 2011, the House passed the Budget Control Act of 2013, with the sequester firmly in place by  a vote of 269-161 (Republican votes for: 174, against: 66).  On Aug. 2, 2011, the Senate passed the Budget Control Act of 2013, again putting the sequester into law by a vote of 74-26 (Republican votes for: 28, against: 19)

So on Aug. 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the idea that his Administration had presented to Congress, that the House and the Senate turned into a bill and passed by a significant majority.

It is important to remember that no one from either party actually wanted the sequester to occur.  Everyone backed the idea that the sequester was a just a nasty looking incentive for Washington to toss aside partisanship and do their job.   Sadly, it has failed.

Now with the facts laid out, we can lay the blame properly….OR  we could just demand that the White House and the Congress leave this useless blame game aside and protect us, the American people, from the crisis created by their failings.  Demand that Congress do next week what they were supposed to do in 2011 and 2012, make the cuts, increase the revenue, reform the entitlement programs, reform military spending, the list goes on.

Oh, one other thing, while we’re demanding things of Congress, let’s demand they stop creating false crises and just do their jobs.