February 26, 2013

Judge Andrew Napolitano has now added “impeachment” to the list of usual Republican attacks on President Obama over the looming sequester cuts. During a visit to Fox & Friends, he and Steve Doocy went through some familiar right-wing myths about the sequester – that it’s just a small reduction in future spending and therefore no biggie – and went on to accuse “President Panic” of deliberately sabotaging the budget – i.e. making the cuts as damaging as possible in order to punish Republicans.

DOOCY: As Commander-in-Chief, he should be making any future reductions in future spending as easy as possible. But instead he and his cabinet are out there and they’re scaring the living daylights out of people. …He’s become President Panic.

NAPOLITANO: …This is almost an impeachable offense. If the President is deciding how to spend money in order to hurt us, rather than in order to provide us with the services for which we have paid, and for which we have hired him, he is doing the opposite of doing of what he has taken an oath to do. He has taken an oath “faithfully,” I underscore the word… to uphold the laws. That means make the government work. Don’t make it painful. Find a way to make it work on 2% less.

…Instead, he wants to cut in a way that’s gonna make us stand on line for five hours at the airport, quote, to teach the Republicans a lesson.

While the Foxies were busy maligning the president, they didn’t have time left to consider how the sequester might affect everyday people not earning television-pundit salaries and not with a partisan agenda: Teaching jobs and education funding are at risk; unemployment insurance benefits and aid for Hurricane Sandy victims are also subject to sequester. The Bipartisan Policy Center reported the following:

(T)he immediate and across the board nature of the cuts, along with their magnitude concentrated in a seven-month period, will impair economic growth as the year progresses. At BPC, we estimated last year that the sequester would reduce 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth by half a percentage point, and would cost the economy approximately one million jobs over the next two years. More recent estimates released by the CBO and Macroeconomic Advisors have roughly confirmed these projections.

I couldn’t find anything in their report that said these would only happen if President Obama deliberately jiggered the cuts.

Oh, and while they were salivating at the thought of impeachment (and never mind THAT cost!), nobody mentioned that President Obama has already put forth a plan to replace the sequester that includes over $930 billion in spending cuts and $580 billion in new tax revenue.

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