The sky is falling, the sky is falling. That's the message shrieked by President Barack Obama about those mandated federal spending cuts called "sequestration."
And not only is the sky falling, but it's not his fault. He's like the kid standing in front of the broken window, the bat and ball and glove in his hand. He had nothing to do with it.
These are, of course, big-fat whoppers, like the kind other Chicago politicians tell, only the whoppers from the Obama White House are sized 17 trillion extra large and made in China.
Sequestration was his deal. He wanted to increase the federal debt limit by another trillion or so that we didn't have. Sequestration, or mandated cuts, was the price. And the sky isn't falling. In real cuts, we're only talking about some $85 billion out of $1.2 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office says that the affected federal agencies are expected to cut only $44 billion this year, with the remainder in future years. Compared to the $1.2 trillion spent, it's a pile of crumbs.
What Obama wants is to spend more and more. And so the whoppers come out of his mouth, or his mouthpieces prattle their talking points, that sequestration isn't his baby, that even small federal cuts spell disaster.
The whoppers pass his teeth as if he were one of those old Pez candy dispensers when we were kids, except instead of candy they're iced butter. Obama gives us perfect little squares of fat and salt, so that we might spread them on our rough peasant bread.
Or perhaps he would rather we just eat cake?
Even though he says the sky is about to crush us, Big O still found time to golf with Tiger Woods. And Michelle was simply diva-tastic in her televised drop-in at the Oscars, in that spangled gown, flashing those gorgeous arms.
Question: How can they play the King and Queen of France and tell us that the sky is falling, while pursuing the very same policies that have led swaths of Europe to the edge of civil, economic and social chaos?
Answer: Because they can.
Even in Washington, an exotic land where journalists and bureaucrats chatter in a language we can almost understand — they can even say "sequestration" without blushing — some inadvertent truths are released.
Like the one in this passage from the Washington Post the other day:
"The good news is, the world doesn't end March 2. The bad news is, the world doesn't end March 2," said Emily Holubowich, a Washington health care lobbyist who leads a coalition of 3,000 nonprofit groups fighting the cuts. "The worst-case scenario for us is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens. And Republicans say: See, that wasn't so bad."
I'm not so sure about those Republicans. Obama's predecessor was a Republican, a "big-government conservative." He spent and spent on guns and butter just like the Democrats of old, and the Republicans in Congress gorged on it.
So I don't hold much hope for them. Republicans feed on defense contracts the way Democrats feed on poverty programs. So I expect someone will remind the Republicans that their spines disappeared in the early 2000s, and just like that they'll remember and collapse in a pile of boneless goo.
That's what Obama is hoping for, too.
Meanwhile, Obama's mouthpieces are in full-throated cry. The sequester, they say, will destroy the economy, cost us jobs, ruin the lives of children and families. I'm waiting for the part about Iran and North Korea subjugating us to their will.
But there's a problem. America is out of money. And sooner or later, we've got to realize that every dollar in debt isn't just some political nuisance.
It is a tax on the young, a tax on the very same millennial generation that elected Obama, a tax on children not yet born, and on their children.
And they will carry it from cradle to grave like placid beasts of government burden.