Here is one thing that Obama should do to elevate America’s public discourse: Stop lying.
Obama has been caught red-handed lying about the sequester, the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that commence Friday, unless Congress panics and scuttles this 2.4 percent reduction in Washington’s heroin-strength spending addiction.
“The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said in his October 22, 2012, debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”
“Congress didn’t compromise,” Obama whined on February 19. “They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.”
There is only one thing wrong with Obama’s words: They are total lies.
Last October 25, then–White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew lied, too.
“There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew told the Tampa Tribune while campaigning there. “It was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure at the end.”
Abundant evidence quickly and thoroughly refutes Obama’s manifest deceit on this crucial matter.
After extensive interviews and high-level access to top policy makers, legendary Washington Post writer Bob Woodward explained all of this in his latest book, The Price of Politics.
At 2:30 p.m. on July 26, 2011, Lew and White House congressional-relations chief Rob Nabors visited Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, amid that summer’s negotiations with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling.
As Woodward wrote on page 326 of his book:
“We have an idea for a trigger,” Lew said.
“What’s the idea?” Reid asked skeptically.
“Sequestration.” . . .
That’s the beauty of a sequester, they said, it’s so ridiculous that no one ever wants it to happen. It was the bomb that no one wanted to drop. It actually would be an action-forcing event.
“I get it,” Reid said finally.
Were Lew and Nabors freelancing when they took this idea from the White House to Capitol Hill? On the contrary, Woodward explained in a February 22 Washington Post op-ed.
“Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,” Woodward wrote. “Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid.”
“After reviewing all the interviews and the extensive material I have on this issue, it looks like President Obama told a whopper,” Woodward concluded last October. “Based on what Jack Lew said in Florida [on October 25], I have asked the White House to correct the record.”
TheWashington Post awarded Obama four out of four Pinocchios for his blame-shifting on the sequester, indicating a very long-nosed lie.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus echoes Woodward’s account. “The president is part of the sequester,” the Montana Democrat said on February 20. “The White House recommended it, frankly.”
“The White House never expected that the sequestration actually would happen. They looked at it as a negotiating strategy,” former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on February 22. “This idea started with the White House. They took it to the Democratic leadership in the Senate. The leaders in both the Democrat and Republican parties in the House and the Senate signed onto this, and the president signed it into law.”
Even White House press secretary Jay Carney was forced to concede his boss’s deceit.
“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney admitted last week “and, as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”
Perhaps Obama envisioned a fiscal version of the Cold War’s doctrine of mutual assured destruction. Like a simultaneous launch of Soviet and American atomic weapons, sequestration’s consequences would be so horrid, no one in Washington (or Moscow) would allow such a thing. Now, the warhead strapped to the federal budget may go ka-boom on Friday morning. (Democrats warn of an economic mushroom cloud. Republicans should celebrate this firecracker, which will dislodge a mere 2.4 percent from the morbidly obese federal budget.)
But, rather than own up to this like a man, Obama lies through his teeth — repeatedly, loudly, and blatantly — blaming Republicans for an idea that he and his team concocted, and which he authorized before it was presented to Harry Reid for his approval, and then on to the GOP House and the Democrat Senate for their endorsements.
Bob Woodward’s book, his recent op-ed piece, theWashington Post’s Pinocchio-wielding fact checkers, Senator Baucus, former congressman Kucinich, and even Obama’s own press secretary (not a conservative among them), all confirm that Obama cannot be believed on this matter.
Rather than expose himself to future embarrassment, Obama henceforth should try something truly refreshing: Stick to the truth.
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.