Sequestration To Affect Already Closed National Drug Intelligence Center

David Williams

February 28, 2013

At midnight tonight (March 1), the sequestration ($85 billion in automatic spending cuts) officially kicks in.  The amount of misinformation surrounding President Obama’s the sky-is-falling rhetoric when describing the sequester’s spending cuts is getting out of hand.  In fact, it’s now so far removed from reality that the administration has started lamenting supposed cuts to a government agency that no longer exists.  Back in September 2012, Congress requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) send a detailed report detailing all of the government programs and agencies that would be affected if the sequestration cuts were to occur.  Just this week, Reason announced it had discovered a problem with the report.  Specifically, “One of the cuts it warns against would affect an agency that no longer exists–and didn’t exist when the OMB sent its report to congress.”  Oops!

The Reason post goes on to detail the government’s significant error: “The first line item on page 121…says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June 15, 2012–three months before the OMB issued its report to Congress.” If you need more proof, Reason’s site even includes a screenshot of the government’s page.

Don’t be disappointed the false claims spewing from the Administration don’t end here.  There’s even more make-believe to share.  As the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll pointed out, the administration’s claim that“70,000 Head Start students will be kicked out of the program number? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made it up.”  Politico elaborated on this by noting that “The state-by-sate reports aren’t crystal clear on the methodology, making it difficult to know how much leeway was taken with the estimates.”

If you’d like to continue your stroll through Obama’s LaLa land, read through the rest of David Nather’s article in Politico.  While Obama continues living far removed from reality, the rest of us are faced with this one: the president’s paycheck is not included among the sequestration cuts.  Former presidents can also sigh a breath of relief their pensions will also go unaffected, according to the report.

Perhaps the coup de gras here is that Obama denies being the mastermind behind the sequester and instead points the finger of blame towards Congress.  Fortunately, Washington legend Bob Woodward has appropriately called bologna on Obama’s claim.  As Woodward explained to Politico in an interview, ““What the president said is not correct… He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”

While we wait for the president to return to reality, there are many alternatives to pursue other than his sequestration.  For example, Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen has outlined that “Congress could choose from a menu of $150 billion in savings proposals” to make “specific policies changes….”  He continues to explain, “Making such choices would alleviate the immediate pressure and also could provide a worthwhile first installment on the long-term reductions needed to get federal spending under control.”

Finally, inaction by Congress actually helps taxpayers.