Despite the disastrous defense cuts that are looming with sequestration, the two main players—President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV)—see the situation as win-win.
Sequestration will hit several areas in government, but defense will eat the lion’s share: 47 percent of the cuts come from defense, considerably less than its 20 percent share of federal spending. Entitlements take a much smaller hit.
Nearly everyone in town, on a fairly bipartisan basis, sees the cuts as detrimental to the security of the nation. Republicans who signed the Budget Control Act (the genesis of the sequestration) are now saying they only did it because they were “sure” the cuts would never be put into effect. Even Democratic legislators are scratching their heads and looking for a solution. They know that sequestration will hurt the Department of Defense and do great damage to the defense industrial base.
What is a bit galling in its blatant disregard of reality is that now the President is adding gasoline to the partisan fire by saying that this is all happening because the Republicans are “playing politics with our military.”
The President has the chance to really be a statesman. He should bring in the leaders of the Congress and work with them to craft a solution that fixes the budget crisis without gutting our national security. He cannot do that by name-calling and holding completely inflexible positions.