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by
Rick Moran

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February 23, 2013 - 2:55 pm

With no negotiations scheduled between the president and Republican leaders, and both sides seemingly resigned to the sequester kicking in on March 1, it appears likely that no last minute deal will avert the cuts and that neither side will be in a hurry to make any alternative reductions.

Wall Street Journal:

It had been thought that the cuts, some $85 billion through the rest of the fiscal year, could be averted or quickly replaced with a longer-term deficit-reduction plan. Those expectations have now dissipated. No significant negotiations are known to be under way between the two parties, which are at an impasse over Mr. Obama’s demand that any plan to replace the cuts include more tax revenue.

The president and congressional Democrats are looking beyond Friday, when the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, are due to take effect. Their strategy is to persuade the public that the cuts would harm defense, education and other programs, make air travel difficult and cost jobs, among other effects. They hope public pressure would force Republicans to reverse course and agree to new tax revenue.

Amplifying the president’s message, a new nonprofit that grew out of his 2012 campaign, Organizing for Action, is staging events next week in various communities that would be hit by the sequester.

Some Democrats are uneasy with the prospect of a drawn-out impasse. “I know that there is some common wisdom out there that people are going to have to see the effects for a while before they can deal” on a replacement for the budget cuts, said Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), whose state has large numbers of federal workers and defense companies. “I just don’t believe in that kind of governing.”

The Democrats’ strategy carries risks for the party. It’s unclear how the public will react to the budget cuts, and Democrats could find that people aren’t as inconvenienced as they predicted. That could undercut their position in negotiations with the GOP and, potentially, build an appetite for additional cuts to spending that Democrats will oppose.

But a protracted fight over the spending cuts also could take a toll on Republicans. Polling shows Mr. Obama has a far higher approval rating than Congress and that people generally favor his position in the dispute. In the battle for public opinion, the White House will argue that Republicans are the reason people may face longer lines at airport and job furloughs. If that impression takes hold, that could cause trouble for Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections.

Meanwhile, there is another deadline looming at the end of March that might give the advantage to Republicans. The continuing resolution runs out at the end of March and it is likely that Republicans are going to insist on serious entitlement reform before they are of a mind to fund the government. Failing to fund the government is a lot different than across the board cuts as with the sequester. Without authorized funds from Congress, the government would literally have to shut down. Eventually, the president is going to have to deal and the continuing resolution might be the time to do it.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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Ah,if only the GOP can find the guts to hold their ground. Real control of spending.
The only spending cuts the Dems can stand are defense cuts- the only cuts we absolutely cannot afford are more defense cuts. More taxes equal more spending, and less money in the private sector, which is fine with the Dems, but deadly for our future.
Will the stupid party stand its ground for once? I'd place the odds at 20-80, or less.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One problem with a government budget is that it is a use it or lose it deal. It's not like a bank account where what you don't spend is going to stay there till you need it. I remember when I was in the Service many years ago, coming up on the end of the fiscal year we would be encouraged to spend as much as we could because we had money left over. We would stock up on things like paper, pens, clipboards, new desks, work benches, chairs, anything to get rid of the extra money because if we didn't use it it would go back into the general fund and the next years budget would be reduced by whatever amount we hadn't used that year. At least that's what we peons were told. Of course during the year we kept being told we couldn't order something because it cost too much and might run us over budget. (This was on the company or battalion level, above that the bigwigs didn't care if they went over budget! They would just blame it on us anyway. )
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"t’s unclear how the public will react to the budget cuts, and Democrats could find that people aren’t as inconvenienced as they predicted. That could undercut their position in negotiations with the GOP and, potentially, build an appetite for additional cuts to spending that Democrats will oppose."

The author says that like it is a bad thing. During the '90s a D administration and a R-controlled Congress could not agree on new government initiatives and kept funding stable by default. There was many a commentator on the left wailing that the economy would be destabilized by government being unable to keep up with its responsibilities. Things did not exactly work out that way. That argument is tired and empty and everyone making it today knows that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Eighty-five billion! Two and a half per cent of total government waste....er spending. About one half of one percent of the GDP! Forget "who is John Gault". The real question is where the hell is he? BTW. Why did it take 3 log in attempts to get connected? Am I the only one having this problem?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmm. Lets see - the total federal spending is:

3.1 trillion - the sequestration cuts will amount to 85 billion

3.1t = 3,100,000,000,000
85b - 85,000,000,000
---------------------------------
*TBS = 3,015,000,000,000

*TBS =Total Budget after Sequestration.

Or in shorthand - BS.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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