In what looks like a commentary on the front page, Washington Post reporter Zachary Goldfarb's story was a liberal lament: "Signing cuts, Obama lets priorities slip." The little sequester is somehow a major failure for Obama's liberal vision.
"With his signature this week, President Obama will lock into place deep spending cuts that threaten to undermine his second-term economic vision just four months after he won re-election," Goldfarb mourned. Liberal economist Lawrence Mishel has the wackiest quote in the piece:
“I think they brought it on themselves to the extent that they validated the deficit issue,” Mishel said. “It was always the case that the actual budget policy being pursued contradicted the rhetoric in the campaign. Now it’s even worse.”
Obama "validated the deficit issue"? Obama tripled the "deficit issue." The notion that trillon-dollar deficits are utterly insignificant is all over this Post article. A sequester might get the deficit under a trillion, but it's hardly a major crimp in the deficit trend. Here's more whining from the left:
Obama thinks the cuts are, in his words, “dumb,” and he says they will slow the economy and harm priorities by cutting spending on education, research and development, and many other programs. Obama now finds himself enacting a broad domestic policy that he doesn’t support and that he believes will harm the country.
“What he got in terms of the sequester is clearly incompatible with his investment plans,” said Jared Bernstein, a former White House economic adviser.
Goldfarb included one quote from Paul Ryan simply stating the need for spending restraint. But liberals dominated, including this dramatic ending to the piece:
Obama's supporters say he has already accomplished a lot toward his vision of helping the middle class — namely by securing the revenue from $600 billion in tax hikes at the start of the year and through his health-care overhaul.
Some say that might have to be enough, given the Republican opposition in Congress is intent on dramatically shrinking government services.
"He has to be the firewall presidency," said Alan Brinkley, a historian at Rice University. "All he is really ultimately trying to do is protect the progressive legacy of the New Deal."
Does this look like an era of "dramatically shrinking government services"? Perhaps the Post should put a new slogan on its front page, declaring its professional goal is to "protect the progressive legacy of the New Deal." Today's budgets make the original New Deal spending look like a rounding error.