How to see through the president’s blame game

By Tom Quiner

You’ve heard it before: the blamer-in-chief blames the Republicans for the sequester.

He has painted a disingenuous picture of the coming carnage, which he lays in its totality at the feet of the Republicans.

It’s all a sham.

Each Cabinet Secretary can ask Congress to give them some latitude on how to apply the cuts. Congress is more than happy to do so.

To be crystal clear on their willingness to cooperate with the administration, House Republicans sent a letter to each cabinet head. The letter came from Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Rep. Issa describes the contents of the letter he sent:

“We sent out on Feb. 28 a letter to every Cabinet officer asking them what changes they’d like to have — pluses, subtractions and so on — to give them an opportunity to show us at least one program they would like to have cut, which would then save on sequestration.”

For example, the Department of Agriculture wouldn’t want to lay off meat inspectors, because that would reduce the supply of meat on the store shelves. But they employ thousands and thousands economists who are less critical to the day-to-day running of the country. It would be smarter to furlough them than the meat inspectors.

Congressman Issa explains:

“If they were to come up with, for example, $500 million in cuts, their remaining sequestration would drop by 25 percent,” Issa said. “If they were able to come up with $2 billion worth of things they wanted to drop altogether or reduce, then they would have no sequestration.”

So how many cabinet officers have responded?

“We did not receive a single answer.”

What? How could that be? Republicans have presented a simple solution to the blamer-in-chief’s sequester. But the administration is ignoring it.


Because they want to blame Republicans. They don’t want a solution to the mess they’ve created. It’s all about politics. It’s all about destroying the Republican brand, even if it hurts us regular folks.

It’s all about blame.



  1. illero on March 13, 2013 at 6:37 am

    But . . . I don’t understand . . . if, as the Republicans sometimes/often claim, the sequestration doesn’t actually cut anything, but merely reduces the rate of increase of spending, why do Republicans continue to make suggestions regarding how to prioritize “cuts” in such a way that vital services are not affected? Something is not right here — either the cuts are real, and require real headcount and/or program cuts, or they are NOT real, and all we need to do is freeze some salaries, not fill open staff positions, take advantage of attrition, and/or NOT implement planned expansions of programs. Which is it?

    • quinersdiner on March 13, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Very good response.