In another stunning failure of leadership, President Obama today asked Congress to delay the scheduled across-the-board spending cuts, including those that will decimate the national defense budget—but once again offered no specific policies that he would support.
“Obama did not outline a specific proposal,” wrote The Washington Post, but he said that “Congress should adopt measures to postpone the automatic spending reductions, known as the sequester, for a few months.”
Congress should—while the just-re-elected President leads from behind. Obama did, however, call for more tax increases—he terms them “reforms”—to be included. This is another round of his increasingly tiresome “balanced approach” to reducing his massive deficits.
Sequestration, which threatens to slash defense spending by roughly 10 percent, has hung over the budget for more than a year. Twice the House of Representatives has passed a package of alternative spending reductions to replace the defense cuts for one year. The Senate ignored them. Obama ignored them. On January 2, when the cuts were supposed to start, Congress and the President simply chose to put them off for another two months.
What’s needed, of course, is a serious plan to address the spending crisis. Sequestration is not that, yet the President offered no proposals for reprioritizing these cuts in a thoughtful way. Moreover, his complete lack of any substantive proposals that would put the government on a path to a balanced budget at any time—let alone within a decade—is appalling. Instead of showing the way with responsible spending cuts, the President wants to put off the only cuts he and Congress have enacted.
Now, with the President’s budget delayed until at least mid-March, Obama tells lawmakers that they need to come up with a solution—but offers nothing of his own. Thus Obama makes himself commander in chief of a military establishment in danger of being hollowed out by reckless, mechanical spending cuts that he refuses to address and an economy drowning in spending and debt.