Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, who has a sincere and extraordinary distaste for Barack Obama, gets it wrong at least three times. Then I stopped counting.
Krauthammer is incensed that President Obama, he charges, is spreading panic over the automatic spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. He argues
The problem with sequestration, of course, is that the cuts are across the board and do not allow money to move between accounts. It’s dumb because it doesn’t discriminate.
Fine. Then change the law. That’s why we have a Congress. Discriminate. Prioritize. That’s why we have budgets. Except that the Democratic Senate hasn’t passed one in four years. And the White House, which proposed the sequester in the first place, had 18 months to establish rational priorities among accounts — and did nothing.
Congress does not pass a "budget." Most years, it passes a budget resolution, which the President neither signs nor vetoes because it is not a law but a mere blueprint for the appropriation process.
It is conceivable that Krauthammer doesn't understand this, likely most of his readers don't, and as certain as snow in Buffalo in winter that the vast majority of his viewers on GOP TV don't.
But he probably realizes the disingenuousness of claiming that the President's proposal that spending cuts (which, thus far, have far outstripped revenue increases) be matched by tax increases "demonstrates that, for Obama, this is not about deficit reduction, which interests him not at all. The purpose is purely political: to complete his Election Day victory by breaking the Republican opposition."
Apathy toward deficit reduction is a Republican game, not a Democratic one, as demonstrated by statements of long-time GOP consultant Mike Murphy, who is lionized as a "moderate." Ezra Klein explains that Murphy on February 13 wrote