For a few months up to now, President Obama’s Cabinet members had been kept under wraps as far as talking about the effects the looming sequestration could have on the day-to-day lives of Americans. Now, however, is the time for maximum fear mongering, so in addition to the White House’s usual display of human props (firefighters, police, teachers, etc) the gag order has been lifted on Cabinet members:
They’ve even turned their Cabinet members loose, dispatching them across the country after previously keeping them under a gag order on the spending cuts. The White House put the Office of Management and Budget in charge of the messaging on the domestic side of the cuts for agencies, keeping agency heads on a short leash when it came to talking about sequester — leaving Obama to do most of the talking himself. The Cabinet trips suggest the White House realizes they need to bring new voices into the fight as both sides jockey to avoid getting blamed for the cuts in the closing days.
Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has a frightening message: Air travel could get worse.
The Obama Cabinet member and former Republican congressman made a surprise appearance at Friday’s White House press briefing to warn that the looming automatic budget cuts set to go into effect on March 1 could lead to even longer air travel delays.
“Travelers should expect delays of up to 90 minutes at peak airports during sequester,” starting on April 1, LaHood said. “It’s going to be very painful for the flying public.”
Maybe the lines would move faster if they’d call a moratorium on comprehensive screenings of wheelchair-bound little kids and their stuffed animals.
LaHood’s currently Obama’s favorite tool because he’s allegedly a Republican (any actual “Republican” would have resigned before agreeing to administer Cash for Clunkers).
And what good scare mongering would be complete without threats to the health of children?
The automatic spending cuts to the federal budget that will take place beginning March 1 unless sequestration is prevented could expose thousands of children to lead poisoning and other toxins, according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
“Cuts to our office of healthy homes and lead hazard control and related programs would result in more than 3,000 of the most vulnerable children not being protected from lead poisoning or other hazards in their homes,” Donovan said Thursday at a hearing on the sequester portion of the Budget Control Act of 2012.
So we’ve got Obama pushing for $50 billion more in “stimulus” that apparently we can easily afford no matter what, but the same administration can’t find a way to shift a few dollars around in the budget “for the children”?
The upcoming days and weeks are sure to be a circus.
Update: Candy Crowley on CNN called out Ray LaHood big time this morning.
Slightly off topic, did you see Kyle Larson & company do their impression of the US economy in the age of Hope & Change at the Nationwide 300 yesterday?
View from the stands here.