By Jim Kouri
An Obama White House report — which was one of the topics of discussion during the weekend news shows — describes the automatic and drastic spending cuts that will take effect at the end of 2012 should the congressional budget battle continue past election day.
The 394-page report highlights the $129 million a year budget that would have gone to maintaining and protecting U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world that will be cut beginning on New Year’s Day.
“We’re talking about upwards of 400 State Department facilities, some of them located in the world’s most dangerous nations,” said Mike Baker a political consultant and attorney.
But the budget has nothing to do with embassy security. “Ambassador Chris Stevens did not have a Marine detail in Benghazi, Libya. But White House Senior Advisor and Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett has a full Secret Service detail on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard,” Democratic pollster Pat Caddell told Big Government.
According to the Obama White House report, the United States will be forced to drastically cut spending for the security and safety of embassies and members of the U.S. Foreign Service. The cuts would be part of a $100 billion program of automatic spending cuts set to begin on Jan. 1, 2013 if Congress doesn’t compromise on a new budget.
The White House report was released just after the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were brutally murdered during attacks on the U.S. consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi on Tuesday night.
U.S. embassies throughout Muslim nations are being targeted by protesters, who the White House claims were angered by a video produced by a man in California that denigrated the prophet Mohammad. However, most counterterrorism officials and experts on Islam claim the video is merely an excuse for a well-planned terrorist incident to coincide with Tuesday’s 9/11 Commemoration in the United States.
The State Department security cuts are but a small part of the massive cuts planned for the military, air traffic control, the FBI, housing and social welfare programs, government salaries and private contracts that “would have a devastating impact on important defense and non-defense programs,” according to the report from the White House budget office. Starting in January, about $55 billion per year will be cut from defense spending and continuing for at least nine years.
The report details cuts for 1,200 separate budget line items. The White House said the spending cuts would total $984 billion, and the government would spend $216 billion less in interest payments on the federal debt. Salaries for military personnel and Medicare benefits are exempt, but the cuts will be felt across the board.
Air force and navy aircraft procurement is set for a $4.2 billion cut. Defense department operations and maintenance would lose $4 billion. Pentagon healthcare would be cut by $3 billion. The FBI would lose at least $735 million in salaries and expenses.
“As the administration has made clear, no amount of planning can mitigate the effect of these cuts,” the White House budget officer reported. “Sequestration is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument. It is not the responsible way for our nation to achieve deficit reduction.”
The report calls the cuts “deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government functions”.
Democrats are stubbornly insisting any deficit-reduction deal includes more taxes, while many Republicans wish to focus on cuts to social programs and government spending, such as the enormously expensive Obamacare, notes economist Philip Weiner.
“Throwing almost a half-billion dollars away on a “green agenda” pipedream [Solyndra] is just one example of fiscal irresponsibility. The current administration uses taxpayers’ money as a means to garner more power for themselves and enrich the interests of their friends and big-money contributors,” said Weiner.
“Now they’re in financial trouble and they expect the taxpayers to bear the brunt of the suffering. That’s corruption in my book,” he added.