Poisoned food, prison riots and cocaine on the streets, all coming courtesy of the Democrats so they can blame the Republicans for the sequester. “If it saves the life of just a single federal dollar …”
The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about mid-air plane crashes, troop deaths and mass illness from tainted meat if the sequester cuts stay in place.
But Democrats aren’t dropping the threat of disaster, seizing now on the line they think can beat the Republicans: law and order.
Prison riots, cocaine flooding the streets, terrorists on board airplanes — even hurricanes and tornadoes left undetected by budget-slashed agencies — have moved front and center as Democrats try to get the public behind blaming the Republicans.
Harry Reid – you remember the guy, the one who blamed the deaths of seven Marines on sequester cuts that hadn’t even occurred? Like his boss in the Big House, Harry is pulling out all the stops to make sure that any cuts that are made do maximum damage to the country.
Next on the list could be furloughs at major airports that would mean flight delays for millions of travelers. The DOT helpfully warns that these delays could be “very painful for the flying public.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accounts for only 20% of the Transportation budget but under White House and Congressional sequester math somehow absorbs 60% of the cuts.
Many of the service cutbacks could have been easily avoided by a budget amendment last week sponsored by Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas. He proposed replacing $50 million of FAA sequester cuts with savings from unspent balances, which are a kind of agency slush fund, and by reducing other low-priority spending. Great idea.
How did the vote turn out? There wasn’t one. Majority Leader Reid blocked the amendment from ever getting to the Senate floor. Mr. Moran believes that public safety is compromised by these control-tower cuts, and he calls the Reid gambit “a very dangerous way to try to score political points.”
Mr. Reid used the same tactics last week to block nearly a dozen other measures to soften the impact of the sequester. Mr. Moran also couldn’t get a vote to restore funding for White House tours by cutting $2.5 million for new uniforms for airport screeners.
Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma sponsored seven amendments to save money—including one to provide funding to the National Park Service to keep open the likes of Yosemite and Yellowstone—by cutting programs that even Mr. Obama’s budget calls low priorities. He also proposed freezing new hiring of “nonessential personnel” and to end conferences by the Department of Homeland Security. At least he got roll-call votes, but nearly every one was defeated by Democrats when Mr. Reid gave the order to his caucus.
Mr. Reid’s blocking tactics were supported by President Obama, whose main political goal continues to be to impose as much sequester pain as possible on the public to force Republicans to raise taxes again.
So in the weeks ahead travelers will likely experience the frustration of flight delays, cancellations and closed airports. It won’t happen by accident or out of fiscal necessity, but because Washington Democrats refuse to prioritize federal spending.