Obama's New Pick to Head IRS Furthered Sequester Fable in February


IRS Scandal

In the shockwave created by the IRS scandal, President Barack Obama has moved quickly to replace the acting head of the IRS. He has named Daniel Werfel, who is currently the controller of the Office of Management and Budget, to be the new acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. 

This appears to be a very safe pick for the President; as recently as February 14th, Mr. Werfel testified in front of a Senate committee and perpetuated the falsehood that President Obama was deeply opposed to the sequester that was, in fact, President Obama's idea.

I want to start today by reiterating a point that the Administration has made on numerous occasions: sequestration is bad policy, and the Administration believes that Congress should pass balanced, bipartisan deficit reduction to avoid it. If allowed to occur, sequestration would have a wide range of significant and destructive consequences for domestic investments, national security, and core government services. The President believes that these indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts are not a responsible way to address our collective goals of balanced deficit reduction.

Mr. Werfel went out of his way to give the impression that President Obama was totally opposed to sequestration, but as many news sources pointed out at the time, it was the President himself who had proposed it. 

For example, during the third presidential debate in October, 2012 President Barack Obama said, “The sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.” This statement by the President was called a '"whopper" by none other than the Washington Post, who gave it "Four Pinocchios."

Eventually, even Jay Carney was forced to admit that the White House had proposed the sequester. The White House pushed this narrative so much that Forbes examined the issue and the media's coverage of it in detail in March of this year:

Of course, these clear admissions that Obama parented the sequester are being furiously spun (The Republicans made him do it), but the words are not subject to misinterpretation. So it is true. Obama is fighting against his own program, while blaming his opponents! It can’t be clearer than that.

Despite this conclusive evidence that Obama himself proposed the sequester, the media sat on its hands as the President falsely excoriated the Republicans for originating and insisting on the sequester. They stood by as the President ludicrously accused the Republicans of deliberately inflicting harm on sick children so that their filthy rich supporters could have their corporate jets. The press spread the myth that the President was above the fray and was working hard to save ordinary Americans from his vicious foes.

Why does President Obama take such risks with the truth, knowing he could be outed at any time? There is more to this than counting on an adoring press to protect him. Rather, he takes risks with the truth to protect and promote his most basic narratives on which an entire policy is based.

Mr. Werfel's testimony appears to be part of the White House spin machine trying to blame the sequester on anybody but Obama. No wonder the President has shown such great faith in Mr. Werfel when the Obama White House's risks with the truth are unfolding day by day. 


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