Bob Woodward: Obama is to blame for the sequester

  • Article by: Bob Woodward , Washington Post
  • Updated: February 23, 2013 - 8:10 PM

Why does this matter? Here's what the Washington Post author of books on presidents says.

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liora51Feb. 23, 1310:27 AM

I see. Because that "was not the deal he made" Obama is wrong to ask for a more balanced and reasonable approach. Woodward doesn't think it important that the people making the "deal" with Obama thought that they were just waiting out the clock till Romney took office and the deal was moot.

kindaliberalFeb. 23, 1310:30 AM

Except that the republican controlled house has been holding the full faith and credit of our country hostage thru unprecedented and irresponsible misuse of the debt limit. To put the worlds faith in our countries promise to pay our bills, at risk, in order to try and blackmail political advantage is one of the main reasons republicans are held in such low regard. The sequester would have never been a possibility without the no-compromise republicans and there "country be damned" attitude.

pumiceFeb. 23, 1310:35 AM

From the article: "[The President's] call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made." Follow-up questions for Bob Woodward: (1) Could that deal have been made? (2) Was Rob Nabors right when he explained, "[Sequester] really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table”? (3) Would the "majority of Republicans [who] did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer" have voted differently if their staffers had asked "What is a sequester?" (4) Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was in office in 1985 when the Hollings-Gramm-Rudman Budget Control Act (with sequestration) was passed. Why did Sen. McConnell not explain the concept to the key Republican staffers who "were not in government" during the Reagan budget deficit years?

tboncherFeb. 23, 1310:37 AM

I disagree Bob - until the economy is finally righted, I blame W and Chain-Me. Two unfinished wars and a tanked economy are not distant enough for that pair to escape blame yet.

hjlazniFeb. 23, 1310:58 AM

Lets tell the truth. The wealthy people own the elected representatives. The elected representatives changed the tax system to lower taxes on the wealthy that would result in a trickle down benefit to everyone and providing adequate revenue from everyone. The wealthy agreed they would replace lower taxes by borrowing the government money to be repaid with interest, on time when due, if adequate revenue did not occur. The trickle down system did not work, the government bottowed a lot of money from the wealthy, the wealthy paid less taxes. The elected representatives, including Obama or Romney, owned by the wealthy, publically are committed to paying the wealthy people back with interest on time, however, the only way to do this is the sequester and/or raising the debt ceiling and borrowing more money from the wealthy to pay the wealthy back. I expect Obama will win out, get the debt ceiling increased, borrow more from the wealthy and avoid a European type recession and continue to increase the Debt. Despite risking lower ratings of U.S. securities, the wealthy still like U.S. securities best.

hermajestyFeb. 23, 1310:58 AM

It's the Republicans who have declared the intention of making Obama fail, and it's they who would rather take the economy back into recession than raise taxes on the superwealthy, most of whom are NOT entrepreneurs or job creators and certainly do not fund corporations with their personal fortunes. Try again, Bob.

gandy10Feb. 23, 1311:00 AM

Hoping all liberals have been cataloguing all the tactics the Obama adminstration has employed in carrying out its agenda. Not a peep of dissent from all the loyal sheeple. When the balance of power shifts (as it always does) I expect to still her a pin drop when a Republican adminstration employs the same tactics be it politically, legislatively, or in carrying out economic and foreign policy.

pumiceFeb. 23, 1311:12 AM

One begins to wonder if Bob Woodward is so intent on assigning blame for the 2012 Budget Control Act because he was so wrong when he fell for Bush Administration claims that US invasion of Iraq was justified because "There's just too much [weapons of mass destruction] there."

my4centsFeb. 23, 1311:26 AM

Good summary of how the sequester came about - and good reasons for why Republicans should not cave to demands from Obama to change the parameters. Republicans already gave Obama what he wanted with the debt ceiling increase - the cuts were agreed to by all sides in order for that to happen. If these cuts are now too draconian, then propose other cuts that will take their place. How about simply eliminating the federal department of education and letting the states control what they are ultimately responsible for? How about minor adjustments to entitlement programs, where the vast majority of our budgetary problems originate? There are obviously many more options - if Obama would propose any alternatives I would love to place the burden back on the Republicans.

hobie2Feb. 23, 1311:28 AM

On the other hand, one could say that it is like a parent forcing bad tasting medicine down a kids throat to get them healthy again... The Repubs refused to cut the budget of the biggest user of borrowed money, the Defense Department - even though their wars are over... The defense lobbies hold sway over too many in Congress and threaten to heavily fund the political opponents of those voting for defense cuts, (using the very money they get from the government to hold us hostage for more money). Think of it as a gentlemen's agreement brokered by Obama to have a standoff that forces the US to take the medicine we need and that spreads the blame and neuters the defense lobbyists. If it stands or if it is changed by some last minute effort, there will be spending cuts that would not otherwise be made... And the economy has turned and is in the rise now, so unless opponents put in poison pills so they can get more elected next round, what was a bad move earlier is only an uncomfortable one today.


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