Imagine your doctor diagnoses you with a deadly illness and gives you six months to live. Six months later you show up in his office, healthy as a horse. “Well, that simply won’t do,” says the doctor. Then he kills you.
That would be insane, wouldn’t it? And because it’s insane, that’s what the really smart people in Washington are trying to do with the sequester. The Obama administration has made a diagnosis, and now they’re going to make sure it’s accurate, even if it means killing the patient. The patient, in this case, being the United States of America.
The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.
In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.
He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”
“We said the patient is going to die. Make it look like an accident.”
First Obama proposed the sequester. Then he promised to veto any attempt to stop it. Then he pretended he never said that, and blamed Republicans for not stopping it. Then he predicted Sequestergeddon. And now, his administration is trying to ensure that his scare tactics don’t backfire on him.
But hey, it’s the government. If they try to screw everything up on purpose, I doubt they can even get that right. Maybe things will get better by accident.