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In recent months, assorted White House blame vehicles included the “fiscal cliff,” a gridlocked Congress, spending cuts, stalled immigration reform, student loans, the housing crisis and fewer student loans — to name a few. But wait. There’s more.

During a speech Tuesday, Mr. Obama added the unthinkable-unemployment-with dangerous-consequences blame vehicle to the collection. The president blamed GOP “special interests” for the possible furloughs of first-responders, FBI agents, border patrol officers, air traffic controllers and federal prosecutors — affecting public safety, court cases and airport security.

“Why not first furlough or reduce the hours of the thousands and thousands and thousands of bureaucrats in Washington, the ones who make so much more money than the first responders and don’t risk their lives for us on a daily basis?” asks Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who suggests that Mr. Obama is seeking a “sequester scare.”


“President Obama said ‘these cuts are not smart, these cuts are not fair, and they will hurt our economy,’ but what he neglected to say is that these cuts were his idea,” notes Sen. John Cornyn, regarding the president’s continued call to avert sequestration, something the Texas Republican already has proposed himself.


Oh, and it’s free, too. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is offering “The Wages of Sin Taxes,” a 75-page treatise by analyst Christopher Snowdon for free download at its website ( The analysis begins with a 1975 quote from Milton Friedman: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Indeed. Mr. Snowdon declares that “sin taxes” foisted on consumers for alcohol, tobacco, snack foods and other such products are not necessary for recouping revenue lost to the state. Nor are they particularly effective at tackling sin or reducing harm. In fact, sin taxes create a range of unintended consequences that damage health, encourage criminality, and even lead to lower tax revenue, he says.

Naturally, the institute will celebrate the publication with a cocktail party on Wednesday, not four blocks from the White House. And the libation of choice: the “Don’t Tax Metini”


• 74 percent of likely U.S. voters say the federal government is not effective in preventing illegal immigrants from living and working in the U.S.

• 67 percent do not have confidence that the government could run effective background checks on the estimated 13 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.

• 53 percent say America’s borders are not secure, 41 percent disagree.

• 51 percent say illegal immigration is a “serious problem” in the U.S.; 35 percent say it is “somewhat” of a problem.

• 7 percent say illegal immigration is no problem, 5 percent describe it as “beneficial to the U.S.”

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