The Obama Administration was frustrated by the sequester because it reduced planned government spending. But the real concern was that the President finally lost something to House Republicans. Up to this point, the Administration had used fiscal crisis to win every major battle in the last four years.
Now, in the aftermath of losing something, the Administration is sending out federal officials to 100 U.S. cities to train local officials on how to get and use federal funds that are going unspent.
The White House seems to believe in spending as the top solution to nearly all our economic and social ills. As a result, it seems to think that governments at every level need to use up everything allotted to them, not scrimp and save.
In the process, the Obama Administration is also building a network of officials spending additional money, which will help it tell voters to elect Democrats if they want to keep these programs.
Ultimately, the Obama Administration wants to increase government spending, at truly unprecedented levels, and it knows it can only do this as much as it desires if it controls both houses of Congress along with the White House. The top goal of the West Wing seems to be getting back the House in 2014.
But it is the American people who are suffering because of this spending bonanza. The national debt is now over $16.5 trillion, which amounts to over $51,000 for each man, woman and child in the United States. In other words, if you have a family of 5, you basically owe $255,000 today to the government. Add this to your list of savings, assets and debts, and most families aren’t doing so well.
This weight of debt is real, holding down the economy and keeping households from getting ahead.
After the White House got the biggest tax raise in twenty years in the fiscal cliff vote, personal income for Americans was down 3.6% in January, the largest monthly decrease in twenty years!
And a number of companies just announced a new round of layoffs, including 17,000 jobs lost at JP Morgan Chase, 3,000 jobs from Dish Network, 5,400 jobs from American Express, 3,000 jobs from United Technologies, and many others.
While the people suffer, the Executive branch keeps pushing for more government spending, which will require more debt, higher taxes, and increased inflation.
What is the White House thinking? Why doesn’t it incentivize the economy so we see more jobs and less debt?
There are two answers. First, it appears this administration actually believes that bigger government is the best thing for the nation.
Second, it seems the President’s major focus right now isn’t the economy but rather winning the House back in the 2014 election so Washington can adopt FDR-style leaps in growing government.
As The Washington Post reported, the first phone call President Obama made after leaving the platform on election night was a call to Steve Israel to commit to taking back the House in 2014. The second call was to tell Nancy Pelosi the same thing.
Really? Not jobs? Not the economy? Not debt? Not inflation? Not oil prices?
In all of this, however, the 2014 election will most likely hinge on what Republicans in the House do in the next sixteen months.
If they take a stand against government spending, force the government to shut down non-essential programs until Congress gets a balanced budget, and in general show the American people they really do want to fix the economy, they will win even more support in 2014.
If not, if they continue to waffle on nearly everything and let the President keep winning proposals to increase government spending, they may well lose the House in the next election.