Criminals will walk free, the crime rate will soar, low-income women, infants and children will starve, homelessness will skyrocket, hundreds of thousands of "seriously mentally ill adults" and "seriously emotionally disturbed children" will go untreated, families will be poisoned because of reduced food safety inspections (not an issue for those who will be starving, obviously), 1,000 FBI agents will be sacked or furloughed and defense programs will be gutted putting the nation's security in peril, HIV transmission will soar, tax cheats will evade detection en masse, over a million disadvantaged students will face savage cutbacks, thousands of teachers will be sacked and the economy will tank. Those seeking to flee a country in chaos will be going nowhere quickly because flights will also be delayed (or air travel "calamity" as Obama's Transportation Secretary put it).
PolitiFact | Barack Obama says sequester could force prosecutors to 'let criminals go'
Fact Sheet: Examples of How the Sequester Would Impact Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security | The White House
White House warns of flight delays if sequester is not averted - The Washington Post
This is the picture painted by the White House of what will happen after March 1st when automatic spending cuts of $85 billion from a $3.6 trillion federal budget begin to take effect over the seven months spanning March-September, a process called sequestration. Domestic spending will be cut by 5% and the Pentagon budget will be down 8%. Who created this sequestration monster that will have such catastropic effects if an increasingly remote deal to put it off is not reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans?
Naturally, Obama is claiming that it's all down to those nasty Republicans in congress. He called it a 'manufactured crisis' and a 'meat-cleaver' approach in a speech in front of emergency service personnel as part of a PR offensive to blame sequestration on Republicans. The idea of sequestration originated in congress, he said in the third debate with Mitt Romney in October: "First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen," Obama said. Senior congressional Democrats have also been making this claim and the public seem to be buying it, although only 27% are paying close attention to the issue. A Pew poll released Wednesday revealed that a 49% would blame Republicans, 31% would blame Obama and 11% would blame both if Obama and Congress don't strike a deal on the sequester before March 1st.
Republicans have claimed Obama is responsible for the sequestration process, he proposed it and had said that he would veto attempts to undo sequestration.
Enter Bob Woodward, the famous Washington Post reporter who exposed the Watergate scandal. He supports the Republican claims that Obama is the creator of the budget sequestration plan he now decries and claims will lead to catastrophic effects:
Bob Woodward: Obama owns sequestration - Kevin Cirilli - POLITICO.comJournalism icon Bob Woodward wrote in a new Washington Post op-ed first that the sequester was the “brain child” of the White House, calling out President Barack Obama for saying it was created by Congress.
“My extensive reporting for my book ‘The Price of Politics’ shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of [Jack Lew, then-budget director during the negotiations] and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government,” Woodward wrote on a piece posted on Friday night.
Woodward continued: “Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.]. They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.”
Woodward's welcome intervention will give the White House pause for thought on their current strategy of scare tactics to force concessions from Republicans and may lead to a more calm and measured negotiation process to avert this 'manufactured crisis'.