Right-Wing Media Downplay Spending Cuts, Then Blast Obama For Inflicting “Pain”

After downplaying the effects of the government spending cuts known as sequestration, right-wing media are now claiming that President Obama is trying to maximize sequestration pain.

Right-Wing Media Before Sequestration: Cuts Are “Chump Change”

Fox's Stuart Varney: “Nonsense” That “We Can't Cut 2 Percent Out Of A $3.6 Trillion Economy Without Facing Utter Disaster.” On Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed that the sequestration cut was offset by $60 billion in Sandy relief spending and so was just a minor cut. He concluded: “Are you trying to tell me that we can't cut 2 percent out of a $3.6 trillion economy without facing utter disaster? That's nonsense.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends2/20/13]

Rush Limbaugh Dismissed Spending Cuts As “Chump Change.” After playing an audio clip from CNN, Rush Limbaugh said about the sequestration, “We're talking about four, or 85 billion, and that's -- and by the way, cut that in half, because half that's defense, half that's social spending, but total $85 billion out of a budget that's nearly 4 trillion --it's chump change.” He added: “750,000 jobs lost because of this? So -- 750,000 jobs, divided by $45 billion, there --that -- well, it's not true, but it's not possible. There's no -- there aren't 750,000 jobs being cut.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show2/19/13]

Fox Regular Brad Blakeman On Sequestration Cuts: “This Is A Crisis?” Discussing sequestration on Fox Business' The Willis Report, Republican strategist and Fox regular Brad Blakeman said: “President Obama is the man who cried wolf. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. In reality, do the math. 85 billion against an annual budget that's over $3 trillion. Mr. President, this is a crisis? But the American people, Gerri, are tuned out because they're numb. It's one crisis after another, all manufactured by the government, the White House, who can't even seem to even make the slightest bit of improvement in the economy.” [Fox Business, The Willis Report2/20/13]

Fox's Sean Hannity: “Demagogue” Obama's Comments On Effects Of Spending Cuts Are “Madness.” On his syndicated radio show, host Sean Hannity called Obama a “demagogue” for describing the harmful impacts of sequestration on the economy, adding that Obama's comments were “madness” and “hysteria.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show2/19/13]

To learn about the negative economic consequences of sequestration that will continue unless the cuts are replaced, click here.

Right-Wing Media: After Sequestration, Obama Will Inflict “Maximum Pain” From Cuts

Varney: Obama Made A “Quite Clearly Deliberate” Decision To Maximize Sequestration Pain. On Fox & Friends, Varney said that Obama is “selectively cutting to impose maximum pain. He's putting down the pain so that he has political leverage with his opponents.” He went on: “It is deliberate. Quite clearly deliberate. ... He will not accept flexibility, he wants to impose the pain. I can't remember a president ever doing that before. The leader of the executive branch imposing deliberate pain on the American people for political advantage.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends3/7/13]

Limbaugh: Obama Is “Sacrificing” Federal Workers Through Sequestration “In Order To Win Some Elections In 2014.” Limbaugh stated that “I have no doubt” that the Obama administration “is making sure that there are some government employees that are in pain.” He went on to say that “this whole sequester, and in fact all of Obama budgeting for the next two years, is designed to inflict pain.” Limbaugh concluded by calling upon federal workers “to blame the boss,” who “is sacrificing you in order to win some elections in 2014.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show3/5/13]

Blakeman Claimed Obama “Instructed His Government To Inflict As Much Pain As Possible” Over Sequestration. On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Blakeman claimed that Obama “instructed his government to inflict as much pain as possible” over sequestration, and accused the president of failing to lead. [Fox News, America's Newsroom3/1/13]

Hannity: "This President Is Willing To Make The Cuts In The Areas That Will Inflict The Maximum Amount Of Pain On The American People." Hannity agreed with his guest Charles Krauthammer that “this president is willing to make the cuts in the areas that will inflict the maximum amount of pain on the American people to make a point to advance his radical agenda. In other words, he could make the cuts in areas where we wouldn't feel it, but he doesn't want to do that?” [Fox News, Hannity3/1/13]