Remember: Sequestration was Obama’s Idea

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama is a full partner with the Republicans in the latest episode of the manufactured disaster saga: sequestration. “The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream – and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts.” It’s a goal shared by corporatists in both parties.

Remember: Sequestration was Obama’s Idea

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Disaster capitalism is manifesting itself as disaster governance.”

The Obama administration has been very skillful in framing itself as the good guy in the latest looming fiscal disaster, this time under the heading of “sequestration.” On Friday, across-the-board cuts of $85 billion are set to go into effect, wreaking havoc on most government operations. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and what’s left of welfare are not directly affected, but these so-called “entitlement” programs have, in fact, always been the primary targets of this cascade of manufactured crises. Disaster capitalism is manifesting itself as disaster governance, and President Obama is fully complicit in the corporate-imposed charade. Indeed, Obama is most culpable for infecting the nation with austerity fever.

It was Obama who swallowed whole the corporate argument, previously championed by Republicans, that the national debt was Crisis Number One and that entitlement programs were the root cause. From the moment in January of 2009 when Obama served notice that Social Security and all other entitlements would be put on the chopping block, he became the chief mover and shaker for so-called entitlement reform. He created the model for austerity, through his Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. It was Simpson-Bowles that provided the basis for the massive cuts offered by President Obama in 2011. When the Republicans balked at even a modest tax increase for the rich, it was the White House National Economic Council Director, the corporate deal-maker Gene Sperling, who came up with the sequestration scheme, which was timed to explode right after the 2012 elections. The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream – and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts.

The Republicans are his partners, not his opponents.”

Let me repeat: Sequestration was Obama’s idea. So-called entitlement reform is Obama doctrine. Austerity was embedded in the Democratic Party’s agenda under President Obama. More than any other individual, it was Barack Obama who engineered the current disaster scenario. These waves of austerity crises were not inevitable, but they are the inevitable result of President Obama’s calculated statements and actions since Election Day 2008. The Republicans are his partners, not his opponents. The closest thing he has to an opposition – at least on paper – is the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whose two co-chairs introduced a bill that would turn the austerity juggernaut on its head. It’s called the Balancing Act of 2013, and would replace all of the sequestration cuts with new revenues, and then add a $276 billion stimulus to the economy. Needless to say, the progressive bill will get nowhere, not just because of Republican opposition, but because the top Democrat, Barack Obama, wants to go down in history as the smart austerity president. Just as he said he wasn’t opposed to wars, but only to dumb wars – which is why he has built tens of thousands of the smartest drones and smartest bombs ever devised by man. He’s outsmarting what passes for a Left in the United States at every turn. They cheer him as he effectively consummates his grand bargain with the GOP, in a cacophony of manufactured crises, exhausting what little opposition remains. That’s why we at BAR call him the more effective evil.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



The Black Agenda, a cause for all Americans !

Glen, thank you for yet another insightful view of our faltering Democracy. As a white American, I have long felt that the Black agenda is actually the American agenda that demands inclusion for all who seek a fair and equitable existence. Articles like this one that highlight the arrogance and hypocrisy of an administration, that just happens to be headed up by the first Black President, continue to validate your views and those of your organization that are upmost in the minds of all freedom loving citizens. Forty seven years ago I was in Biloxi Mississippi at the local U.S. Air Force training facility when I had a chance to briefly meet with and shake the hand of Martin Luther King who was carrying out one of his renown non-violent acts of resistance. Only a few brief words of hope that became a life altering experience for me. An event, that I later learned from some of my friends, could have gotten me killed at the time by the local racist purveyors of hate ! It gave the proclamation made by Patrick Henry , “give me liberty or give me death”, a whole new meaning !

The Official Washington Court Scribe calls out Obama

The Empire's stenographer called out Obama on sequestration before running to Fox Noise to whine and lie about threats for doing so.

There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politicsshows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.


Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

A majority of Republicans did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer, which included the sequester. Key Republican staffers said they didn’t even initially know what a sequester was — because the concept stemmed from the budget wars of the 1980s, when they were not in government."

EC:  In what is now a clear pattern, in classic Obama fashion, the Harvard-educated clown and idiot in chief BARGAINED AGAINST HIMSELF setting up assured defeat.  What an nincompoop and narcissist.  He's either dumb as hell or plain ol evil and dumb.  I vote for the later.  Oh yeah Baby, "Change is gonna come."  LOL

Did Obama "game" himself or the vapid, stupid Liberal base?

The Sequestering of Barack Obama:  by Robert Kuttner

President Obama has miscalculated both the tactical politics of the sequester and the depressive economic impact of budget cuts on the rest of his presidency. The sequester will cut economic growth in half this year. But it's now clear, one way or another, that we will get cuts in the $85 billion range that the sequester mandates this fiscal year. All that remains are the details.

Obama's miscalculation began in his fist term, with his embrace of the premise that substantial deficit cutting was both politically expected and economically necessary, and his appointment of the 2010 Bowles-Simpson Commission as the expression of that mistaken philosophy. Although the Commission's plan was never carried out, its prestige and Obama's parentage of it locked the president into a deflationary deficit reduction path."

Obama needs to do something that doesn’t come easily to him. He needs to demolish the previous terms of debate, some of them partly of his own making. He has warned Republicans that if they allow the sequester to destroy a fragile recovery, the burden will be on them. More broadly, he needs to disavow earlier mistaken policies that he embraced, such as the belief that targeting a lower debt ratio as an end in itself will produce a recovery. If he could embolden his thinking on such issues as same-sex marriage and gun control, he owes us no less on the economy. Otherwise, Obama will preside over the worst eight-year economic record of any Democratic president, and the steepest rate of decline in social spending. He will leave an economy even more unequal than the one that he inherited. He needs to find within himself the audacity to restore hope."

EC:   Ha!!!  Hilarious.  "He needs to find it within himself..."  How many times have I said this man is as weak as tap water?? And the Rethugs know this, they know they can play him like a fiddle and watch him "outbargain" himself.  Oaf.

This Idiot is going to self-destruct his own presidency and legacy and preside over the weakest 8 years of economic growth this country has seen a decades.  He will go down in history as a failure, because at the end of the day nobody gives a damn about gay marriage and immigration reform when they can't put food on the table nor find work.  His legacy is destined to be 8 years of protracted recession along with being war-monger-in chief, and usuper and enemy of the Constitution.  Pathetic.


Obama is Bush on Steriods

"The shit going on with this administration makes Watergate look like a high school prank."

I totally agree.  Complete and utter disdain for Constitutional and international law and actions done clandestinely and without Congressional oversight or public transparency.  Both extra-judicial and extra-territorial mass murdering.

20 years from now the Empire's scribes will give Obama an "A" for taking the "Unitary Executive" concept and US Militarism to a whole another level.  But an "F" on the economy.  Hmmm... sounds like the legacy of a typical Rethug, doesn't it?

If Bush had invaded and occupied and militarized Black Africa to the level that Obama has, the outcry would have been loud and raucous.  Black America would have risen up.  Old Rev. Al and Jesse would be so facially indignant they'd have to break out the dashikis, "naturals," and "picks" and marched on D.C.  It would have been a "Black thang," but with the Black President leading the killing it's now a "No thang."

Assimilation is a bitch.

No racism

I don't understand why some people think a black and white are different. We live because we are given living not because we live. If some people don't understand english, please belajar bahasa inggris before you speak up.