I think most Americans understand that politicians often frame the truth in a way that is misleading. That’s the way politics works and I’d bet my small life savings that it won’t change anytime soon.
Every so often, however, a politician graces us with a huge whopper in hopes that our politically detached and cynical population won’t care to do the homework.
We frequently saw this type of lie from the Romney campaign in 2012: Obama removed the work requirement from welfare, apologized for America, and sold Chrysler to the Italians.
All of those things were totally ludicrous to those of us who were actually paying attention to the world around us. Romney, however, was counting on just enough misinformed folks to buy these lines and give him the presidency.
Naturally, when a Republican idea or strategy fails, it is necessary for them to continue using said idea (see Supply Side Economics) instead of admit their failure and punch out for the day.
In a revival of the Romney campaign strategy, John Boehner (Republican Speaker of the House) has decided to push the lie that President Obama is responsible for the so-called sequester cuts that will take effect in about a week if Congress fails to act.
Two days ago – on Feb. 20 – Boehner published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with the headline, “The President is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created.”
After him and his party demanded these cuts, John Boehner is now saying that the president is responsible for them.
Don’t be fooled.
In the summer of 2011, President Obama wanted a clean vote on raising the debt limit. This vote does not allow the government to spend more money, but instead allows the government to pay off the debt they have already incurred.
Instead of the speaker allowing for a simple vote, as has been done every with every single past president, he chose to hold this vote hostage in order to obtain these very spending cuts in return.
So to gain Republican support and avoid a downgrade in the U.S.A.’s credit rating, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law, raising the debt ceiling and requiring that Congress come up with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to equal the increase. If Congress failed to come up with these spending cuts, the law says, then it would trigger automatic spending cuts.
Congress failed this task and we are about a week away from being hit by the first round of cuts totaling $85 billion.
Let’s be clear: Republicans in Congress – including John Boehner – held hostage our country’s ability to pay its bills unless they were given these cuts.
Now, a week out from the first round of cuts, they are trying to blame the president.
In a PowerPoint presentation that John Boehner’s office created and sent out to Congressional Republicans on July 31, 2011 (three days before the president signed the Budget Control Act), Boehner states – as part of the deal – that Congress must come up with these cuts or set up a sequestration process that automatically cuts spending across the board.
There it is in writing. In the first bullet of this slide, Boehner states these automatic cuts as a requirement to the deal that ultimately raised the debt ceiling.
So don’t be fooled.
Every time John Boehner tells you that this Republican-created crisis is the president’s fault, he is lying.