9 Feb

Call Obama’s sequester bluff…Republicans should let the automatic cuts go ahead

Charles Krauthammer @ NY Daily News:

For the first time since Election Day, President Obama is on the defensive. That’s because on March 1, automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) go into effect — $1.2 trillion over 10 years, half from domestic (discretionary) programs, half from defense.

The idea had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations.

The calculation was that such draconian defense cuts would drive the GOP to offer concessions.

It backfired. The Republicans have offered no concessions. Obama’s bluff is being called and he’s the desperate party. He abhors the domestic cuts. And as commander in chief he must worry about indiscriminate Pentagon cuts that his own defense secretary calls catastrophic.

So Tuesday, Obama urgently called on Congress to head off the sequester with a short-term fix. But instead of offering an alternative $1.2 trillion in cuts, Obama demanded a “balanced approach,” coupling any cuts with new tax increases.

What should the Republicans do?

Nothing.

Republicans should explain — message No. 1 — that in the fiscal-cliff deal the President already got major tax hikes with no corresponding spending cuts. Now it is time for a nation $16 trillion in debt to cut spending. That’s balance.

The Republicans finally have leverage. They should use it. Obama capitalized on the automaticity of the expiring Bush tax cuts to get what he wanted at the fiscal cliff — higher tax rates. Republicans now have automaticity on their side.

If they do nothing, the $1.2 trillion in cuts go into effect. This is the one time Republicans can get cuts under an administration that has no intent of cutting anything. Get them while you can.

Of course, the sequester is terrible policy. The domestic cuts will be crude and the Pentagon cuts damaging. This is why the Republican House has twice passed bills offering more rationally allocated cuts. (They curb, for example, entitlement spending as well.)

Naturally, the Democratic Senate, which hasn’t passed a budget since before the iPad, has done nothing. Nor has the President — until his Tuesday plea.
The GOP should reject it out of hand and plainly explain (message No. 2): We are quite prepared to cut elsewhere. But we already raised taxes last month. If the President wants to avoid the sequester — as we do — he must offer a substitute set of cuts.

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About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.

2 Responses to Call Obama’s sequester bluff…Republicans should let the automatic cuts go ahead

  1. Mully says: 1

    If my understanding of this is correct the “cuts” aren’t really cuts in a normal sense. These are reductions in the rate of growth or increase over the next ten years. If that’s the case then let the cuts happen. We can’t afford the government we have now.

    ReplyReply
  2. Dumbplumber says: 2

    But not to worry, there’ll be no cuts to waste, fraud and abuse of every give-away of the U.S. government

    ReplyReply

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