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The Hill: Obama And Republicans Play Chicken

From The Hill:

On the sequester, White House, Republicans play political chicken

By Amie Parnes and Erik Wasson | February 19, 2013

In the game of political chicken over the sequester, both the White House and congressional Republicans think their opponents will get the most blame if the $85 billion in spending cuts are triggered.

The White House is confident President Obama’s communication skills and the bully pulpit will help it win the day.

Obama doesn’t have particularly wonderful communication skills. The news media are his pulpit. And his bullies.

Obama will hit the road again next week for campaign-style events at which he will argue Republicans are to blame for hurting the economy and national security if the cuts go through.

Hey, it beats governing. If you govern, you could get blamed.

The White House thinks its argument is better, because it believes it can portray Republicans as protecting low taxes for the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Obama is going to continue to use class warfare, just like every other demagogue in history? What a surprise?

Republicans, for their part, are equally confident it is Obama who will get the blame once the sequester is implemented on March 1.

They should just forget about that ever happening while we still have a one party news media.

They agree the cuts will be harmful but find fault with Obama for signing the sequester into law and for having the idea in the first place.

The cuts won’t be harmful. Federal spending has to be cut. The Republicans need to shout from the rooftops that ‘cuts are a good thing!’

Obama and Democrats aren’t serious about replacing the cuts, they say, something highlighted by Democratic proposals that would replace a portion of the sequester with the “Buffett Rule,” a tax provision the GOP has repeatedly rejected, that would impose a minimum 30 percent tax rate on millionaires.

Notice how The Hill neglects to explain this point. Whatever taxes could be gained by the Buffet Tax would not come anywhere near reaching $85 billion dollars. Raising the tax rate on ‘the rich’ who make over $400,000 to 39.6% won’t even raise $60 billion a year.

And the Buffet Tax would only net a fraction of a fraction of that amount.

Neither side really knows who will get the majority of the blame as offices close, workers are furloughed and programs are cut after March 1…

If any of this happens it should be blamed on Obama, since he will be the one who decides where these minuscule cuts will hit.

But each side is convinced it is the other side that voters will punish the most, a confidence that means the cuts are all but certain to be triggered…

What a way to run a railroad.

The GOP argues that the White House is playing a pressure game that has only ever worked twice — and in both cases the details and deadlines worked to Obama’s political advantage.

In the December 2011 fight over extending the payroll tax cut and in the fight in December over the fiscal cliff, taxes on most U.S. households would have gone up without action by Congress.

This time spending will be cut unless Congress acts, and Republicans are much more comfortable with that scenario than with being blamed for a tax hike…

Moreover, if the sequester cuts do go into effect the public will see that there world will not come to an end. The sky will still be blue and the birds will continue to sing. — All of which might be a very important lesson for the low information voters, who won’t notice any difference in their daily lives.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “The Hill: Obama And Republicans Play Chicken”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    Dear Republicans,

    If you are going to get the blame for everything no matter what, even if it’s not your fault, then what in G*d’s name are you worried about? Just do what you need to do, and exaggerate enough so everyone knows the lame excuse? If you searched around the internet, you would often see mockery of some ridiculous event being blamed on George Bush. People get it. Just relax and stop worrying about the media, 2, stop screaming about democrat hypocrisy, and just GOVERN! You will gain a lot more credibility of you ignore the pettiness and go about your business.

    Thank you,

    The American people who are sick of this crap!

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