President Obama has talked about everything from effects on military readiness to delays at airports and closed sections of national parks. And GOP leaders have walked the thin line of insisting that big cuts in government spending remain necessary but sequestration would still be a bad thing.
“There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much – we should be cutting even more – but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it,” wrote House Speaker John Boehner in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this week.
Thus Limbaugh’s line: Watch out! The professional big-government class and its defenders are just scaring you so that Washington can keep spending more and more.
“Here they come, sucking us in, roping us in. Panic here, fear there: Crisis, destruction, no meat inspection, no cops, no teachers, no firefighters, no air-traffic control. I’m sorry, my days of getting roped into all this are over,” Rush said Thursday.
OK, notice anything in that quote? Such as “no cops”? Yes, Limbaugh has set up an exaggerated straw man to build an outrage, and he can thump it with a rhetorical bat until it breaks apart in bits. Or something like that.
That doesn’t mean he’s without points here. Notice the reference earlier to $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts. That’s how much the cuts would amount to if they’re allowed to continue for a decade. Cuts the first year would be about $85 billion, according to Representative Boehner.
But Limbaugh also said this: “Do you really think 800,000 people are gonna lose their jobs in the Pentagon because we cut $22 billion? Do you really think air-traffic control’s gonna shut down? Do you really think there aren’t gonna be any meat inspectors? Do you really think that all of these horror stories are going to happen? I don’t.”