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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:24 PM

Donít bite on GOPís clever sequester trick, Dems


Donít bite on GOPís clever sequester trick, Dems

Posted by Greg Sargent on February 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm



So itís looking more and more like Republicans will propose an alternative to the sequester: It would kick in, but Obama administration agency heads would have control to reallocate where the cuts hit at their discretion, so theyíre not imposed in a slap-dash across-the-board fashion. Among those suggesting this idea: National Review and Karl Rove. My Post colleague Jennifer Rubin reports that itís being discussed.

This is, as Brian Beutler notes, a ďcleverĒ idea. It makes Republicans look more reasonable, because theyíre giving control over the cuts to the Obama administration. It allows Republicans to escape proposing a new batch of specific replacement cuts. (Remember, Republicans keep claiming the House has passed its own plans to avert the sequester, but those died with the last Congress, and thereís no telling whether House Republicans could pass another one.) And it puts pressure on Dems to accept the plan, because it makes the sequester less arbitrary and threatening.

Iím picking up some rumblings to the effect that some folks are worried that red state Democrats could potentially find this idea seductive. Some Dems think the GOP designed it specifically to attract them.

But Dems would be insane to embrace this. At bottom, it is simply a way for Republicans to bait Dems into accepting their insistence on reducing the deficit only through spending cuts. Agreeing to it would represent a total cave on the need for more revenues, which Dems have worked very hard to keep in the deficit reduction mix. This would signal to Republicans that Dems are prepared to accept a cuts-only approach ó making it impossible for them to renew any demands for new revenues later. Dems are eying the coming government shutdown as the next chance to force a GOP surrender on revenues. Signaling now that Dems are prepared to drop the demand for more revenues ó even temporarily ó would be folly.

The basic overall dynamic needs to be this
: If Republicans arenít willing to avert the sequester through a compromise that involves new revenues, they risk taking the public blame for the lost jobs and damage to the economy it creates. Agreeing to a cuts-only solution undercuts any leverage Dems can derive from this dynamic. Worse, since these cuts would be allocated by Obama agency heads, the Obama administration would own them. The new Pew poll found that 76 percent of Americans want the deficit reduced through a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts ó this public position is holding even after Republicans already agreed to tax hikes as part of the fiscal cliff deal. The public is with Dems on this. They shouldnít muddy the waters.

more...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/21/dont-bite-on-gops-clever-sequester-trick-dems/

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Reply Donít bite on GOPís clever sequester trick, Dems (Original post)
babylonsister Feb 2013 OP
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #1
Cha Feb 2013 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:46 PM

1. Well then, what if the sequester was just, say, a $200 billlion defense spending cut?

 

I probably am not understanding this idea right, but if this came true, then wouldn't the Democrats therefore be able to, say, for instance, "Since we get to decide how it's done, we therefore declare that all of the sequester cuts will take place on the backs of defense spending, and not a single other program will be cut?"


And then wouldn't that be a liberal's dream come true? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:54 PM

2. K&R thanks babylonsistah

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