Sequestration 2013: Obama Budget Negotiating Skills Leave Much to Be Desired

As the "snowquester" hits Washington, D.C., the probability that Congress can avoid cuts of $85.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2013 doesn't look too promising.

The president may seem sincere to some in his desire to compromise, but Obama lost his first chance to fix the problem. He’s going to have to reevaluate his communication strategies if he wants another shot at it.

The sequester  enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011  is projected to cost the economy over 1 millions jobs in 2013 and 2014, but above all, it’s a baby step that the country should be taking in order to come to terms with its governmental debt. There will be hardships, but we must start somewhere.

On Saturday night, SNL poked fun of the White House’s attempts to ridicule GOP negligence by blowing the cuts out of proportion:


The White House’s remarks on the impact of the sequester were a cry for help, an attempt to get Americans behind a mutual tax increase to go along with the GOP’s across-the-board cuts. Unfortunately, no agreement was fashioned, and here we are in sequestration land.

From the Bob Woodward incident to Press Secretary Jay Carney taking a stab at George Will, the administration's current image isn't that appealing, and neither is its attempt to communicate with Congress. Obama didn't open up communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) until a week before sequestration was set to take place.

This isn't a two-minute drill. Perfunctory efforts cannot be commonplace when our country faces such perils as the president makes them out to be.

Regardless of the opposition’s tactics whether they express their intention to meet or not the POTUS is obligated to be the mediator. 

Congress held the title of "most dysfunctional" last term, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that the real perpetrator is the one who’s constantly pointing fingers.

Instead of signing the sequestration into effect while referencing its "deep destructiveness" under his breath, the President needs to reevaluate, minimize damage, and avoid talking down the economy.

This sequester was never supposed to happen and there should have been more of a push to get Congress to agree on more sensible and strategic cuts without slashing defense spending and funding for important domestic programs.

It’s a shame that he’s given up the fight for a practical balance. We all understand it’s a difficult one we can see it every time Boehner opens his mouth but the president must persist, because sequestration is just one of many financial perils ahead:


SNL’s Obama warns his audience at the end of his speech about another looming financial crisis in the future. On schedule next: government shutdown.

Set to expire on March 27, a stopgap continuing resolution is needed in order to keep the government funded through September. House Republicans moved Monday to address and mitigate multiple adverse impacts of sequestration, reorganizing accounts mostly within the Defense and State Departments.

Interestingly enough, the White House isn't impressed with its progress in securing additional funds for state exchanges, a vital piece to the president’s health reform initiative. You can be sure Senate Democrats will demand further adjustments before this even comes close to the president’s desk. 

President Obama and Speaker Boehner insist that neither wants a government shutdown, but sequestration, fiscal cliffs, and debt ceilings tell us otherwise.

Prepare for yet another "cry wolf" from the White House and a narcissistic, puerile response from the GOP.

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Logan Nee

Logan wrote for Mic from October 2011 to February 2014. He is now living in New York City. [logan.nee@gmail.com]

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