President Obama preemptively blamed congressional Republicans for the next six months of economic weakness, saying they didn’t avert sequestration because lawmakers “paint horns on [his] head” rather than negotiate.
“We shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and that workers depend on,” Obama said today after meeting with top lawmakers this morning. “Every time we get a piece of economic news over the next month, the next two months, the next six months . . . we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act . . . They decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and the well-connected.”
For all his talk about “dumb” cuts, Obama promised to veto a bill that would have allowed him to soften any blow to the economy by implementing sequestration according to his best judgement.
“Now, lately, some people have been saying, ‘Well, maybe we’ll just give the president some flexibility,’” he said earlier this week when attacking the proposal. “You don’t want to have to choose between, let’s see, do I close funding for the disabled kid or the poor kid? Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other one? When you’re doing things in a way that’s not smart, you can’t gloss over the pain and the impact it’s going to have on the economy.”
Obama suggested that Republicans won’t raise taxes because they personally dislike him — they “paint horns on my head,” as he put it.
“They’re saying that it’s more important to preserve these tax loopholes than it is to prevent these [sequestration] cuts,” he said.