President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to blast Republicans for relieving air-traffic delays from sequester-related furloughs while “inflicting pain on the public” by imperiling poor children, hungry seniors, and workers.
“They may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off Head Start, or the 750,000 Americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts, or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them,” said Obama. “But that pain is real.”
Obama added: “Because of these reckless cuts, there are parents whose kids just got kicked out of Head Start programs scrambling for a solution. There are seniors who depend on programs like Meals on Wheels to live independently looking for help…. Republicans claimed victory when the sequester first took effect, and now they’ve decided it was a bad idea all along.”
Republicans hit back, pointing out that sequestration was Obama’s idea and that the Administration’s implementation of the cuts unnecessarily targeted places most likely to inflict the maximum pain on the public.
“There are some in the Obama administration who thought inflicting pain on the public would give the president more leverage to avoid making necessary spending cuts, and to impose more tax hikes on the American people,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) in the weekly Republican address.
“This week, many Americans had their flights delayed or canceled because of the way in which the Obama administration chose to implement the president’s automatic sequestration cuts. Travelers were fed up, and rightly so,” said Shuster.
Top economists say Obama’s estimate of 750,000 sequester-caused job losses are exaggerated; estimates range from 100,000 to 300,000.