President Obama rejected Republican suggestions Tuesday that he should have more power to carry out $85 billion in pending budget cuts, and instead urged Congress to work out a better solution that involves raising revenue through taxes on the wealthy.
Obama told shipyard workers that he doesn’t want responsibility for apportioning the looming “sequester” cuts because there is no wise way to do it.
“The problem is, when you’re cutting $85 billion in seven months,” Obama said, “there’s no smart way to do that. You don’t want to have to choose between, ‘Let’s see, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid? Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other?'”
The draconian cuts are set to take effect automatically Friday as part of a deal Republicans and Democrats crafted months ago to try to force themselves to come to a bigger budget deal.
That deal has eluded them, and now all sides are resigning themselves to the fact that across-the-board cuts will kick in as scheduled. Republicans are contemplating offering legislation that would give the administration more authority to decide which programs get cut, so that he could steer around the most critical programs.
If it passed, it could give the president more ownership of cuts he has worked for weeks to distance himself from.
Even if he had more power to carry out the cuts, Obama said, “you can’t gloss over the pain” they would cause.
Really Mr. President? Is there NOTHING we could cut? Is there not one ounce of fat anywhere?
How big are these “draconian” cuts? Two percent? Three?