Many politicians consider themselves “Jacks of all trades”. The majority, however, have mastered one trade: the ability to exaggerate, embellish, and downright lie to sway their constituents.

Richard Nixon was an expert. Bill Clinton was a pro. And, closer to home, Ernie Newton perfected the art.

And those are just a few of the ones who got caught. A large number of politicians lie and cheat and mislead the public each day.

This recent release from the White House is not necessarily a lie, but it certainly is an exaggeration, a non-academic survey of data. It cherry-picks information, and it is by no means, as it claims, a “fact sheet”.

The release, entitled the “Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Connecticut”, seems to be more of a scare tactic than an honest assessment of the impacts of the upcoming sequestration.

The paper outlines the supposed impact the sequester will have on Connecticut, with some of the more notable (and questionable) cuts listed below:

–          Under the Teachers and Schools category, “about 8,000 fewer students would be served”

–          Under the Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water section, “Connecticut would lose about $2 million in environmental funding” and “another $398,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection”

–          In terms of Military Readiness, “Maintenance and repair of USS Providence and $13 million in funding for two demolition projects at New London could be cancelled”

–          With regards to Vaccines for Children, “around 1,570 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B”

–          The STOP Violence Against Women Program “could lose up to $76,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence”

–          And, finally, under the Nutritional Assistance for Seniors section, “Connecticut would lose approximately $201,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors”

For some, these cuts may seem scary. For the more politically aware, they are ridiculous.

Some cuts, like those which will result in 8,000 fewer students served, cannot possibly be true. Students will be taught, mainly because it is the law.

Others, like cuts which would lead to thousands of children missing vaccinations and a horde of hungry senior citizens, are entirely avoidable. If politicians cut funding to child care and senior welfare, that is their choice. The Yankee Institute, among other organizations, offers a list of more sensible areas the government could cut from.

And finally, some of these cuts (like those from fish and wildlife protection programs, and others to “demolition projects”) are perfectly tolerable, at least in this writer’s opinion.

So, this White House release amounts to little more than an attempt to scare citizens into pushing for fewer spending cuts and more taxes. This fact is laid out in the document’s very first paragraphs.

And yet the upcoming cuts are the result of our esteemed elected officials. If they had agreed to more sensible cuts from the start, sequestration could have been avoided. Sequestration is a punishment, and one that politicians are squirming to avoid. If we allow them to wiggle out of it, and instead institute even more taxes, then we will be rewarding their bad behavior.

It’s no wonder politicians have become masters of deception and deceit: those strategies work, and there are no repercussions.