Over the past year, there has been feedback from the small-business community and smaller-government advocates that the sequestration cuts were at least a step in the right direction.
“I believe the … sequestration helped the economy,” said small-business owner and certified public accountant Gene Marks. “It is comforting to know that the legislative branch can stand up in the face of withering criticism and dire warnings from the media and even the president to take action .”
The 2014 compromise budget approved this month and sent to Mr. Obama for his signature suggests the West Wing and Democratic leaders may have gotten the message.
The $1.1 trillion budget restores some sequester cuts to programs such as Head Start, medical research and job training. But it left many agency budgets “tens of billions of dollars lower than Obama had requested and … Democrats had sought,” The Washington Post reported.
That was seen as “a victory” for Republicans, “who have succeeded in rolling back agency appropriations to a level on a par with the final years of the George W. Bush administration,” the newspaper reported.
There are two unmistakable political messages in all of this that the Obama administration still refuses to accept.
First, Americans will support significant spending cuts when they see budget reductions leading to an improved economy and more jobs. Second, Mr. Obama no longer has any credibility on fiscal-policy issues — if he had any to begin with.
With his job-approval polls falling to 40 percent and a new Gallup poll finding that “Americans’ economic outlook has soured” in recent weeks, the GOP’s political prospects in the November midterm elections are looking better all the time.ˆ
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.