(L.A. Times/David Horsey )
I was dismayed by your recent, misleading article on the Republican's responsibility for the budget sequester (The GOP sequester," Feb. 22).
Jack Lew, the White House chief of staff and budget director, set up the sequester in 2011, and Rob Nabors, the White House congressional relations chief, presented it to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with President Obama's approval. All this is documented in Bob Woodward's book "The Price of Politics."
When asked about his role in the sequestration, Mr. Lew told the Senate Finance Committee "what I did was say that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Sens. Gramm and Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action."
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said recently that "the sequester was something that was discussed and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward."
This admission makes your headline of "The GOP Sequester" inaccurate.
So when President Obama appeared at the White House the same day to denounce the sequester, saying that it would cost jobs and jeopardize military readiness, he was attempting to force the GOP to pass a plan that he had already approved. And he used that same platform to push for new revenue through new taxes. Yet last week he said of sequestration: "This is not a smart way for us to reduce the deficit."
Your editorial comment of "tighten the belt gradually, but the spread the pain" is interesting. Are you suggesting a more fair flat tax where everyone shares in a proportionate amount of the pain?
Everyone can agree with the need for spending cuts because we are crippling future generations with insurmountable debt. We can also all agree that there is much waste in the government and some of it must be cut. But honest negotiations can't take place while the president is using his office to dishonestly portray the GOP. He needs to take responsibility for his actions and admit that the sequester originated in the Democratic Party.
Karen Strine, York, Pa.