Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Public to POTUS: Cut. It. Out.

President Barack Obama

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the Monday after the sequester began to take effect. And the lights are still on! (Woohoo!)

More importantly, the Internet is still on — and that’s all any armchair lawmaker needs these days to broadcast policy prescriptions for a shinier, happier America. At least, that’s what we gathered from the latest slate of anti-sequester pleas posted on the White House’s “We the People” petition forum.

To be fair, President Barack Obama does sound like he could use all the help he can get with unraveling the across-the-board budget cuts that Congress agreed to last fall.

“I think everybody knows where I stand on this issue. … It’s not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction,” he told the press after convening the first Cabinet meeting of his second term. “I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everyone knows is the right way to do that.”

That’s nice, sir. But the vox populi wants its pound of flesh.

The three most widely supported fiscal rewrites center on having Congress, the White House or both share evenly in the anticipated wages to be lost by those who’ll be furloughed/laid off in the coming months.

The top vote-getter (57,000-plus signatures) demands cutting all members’ salaries to $75,000 through 2015, with the difference being applied to retiring the national debt. One group recommends financially punishing Congress (5,100-plus) for bringing the sequester to bear, while others (3,400-plus signatures) believe POTUS and Congress ought take a 20 percent pay cut in solidarity with all federal workers.

Not everyone wants to spread the pain.

Thrill-seekers, for instance, just want to know their beloved Blue Angels will be able to continue buzzing air shows (1,300-plus signatures) from sea to shining sea.

Researchers, on the other hand, want to know they’ll never have to leave the lab, prodding pols to exempt science funding (750-plus signatures) from the chopping block.

Then, of course, there are those who simply want someone — anyone — to fess up, once and for all, that these online petitions are a complete and total waste of time (3,000-plus signatures).

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