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Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Economy, Featured, Finance, Politics | 3 comments

Is the “Sequester” a Win for Republicans?

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hell, no, says Greg Sargent at the Washington Post. Look at the latest Washington Post/ABC poll. Despite the Post’s misleading headline and opener making it look like Obama is on the downslide, that’s not the poll’s conclusion.

… Dig deeper into the poll and you find something striking: Public disapproval of the sequester is running high — and more Americans hold Republicans responsible for it. Solid majorities oppose specific cuts to government programs to replace the sequester — even as solid majorities support closing tax loopholes to replace it. Solid majorities reject the basic Republican argument about the sequester and the economy. It’s true that the poll finds that Obama only holds a small edge over Republicans on who is most trusted on the economy, 44-40. His approval rating has slipped, though it remains at 50 percent. ...Greg Sargent, WaPo

Look at the numbers.

* 72 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of independents and 81 percent of moderates, disapprove of the Congressional GOP.

* Americans disapprove of the sequester cuts by 53-39; 64 percent say they’ll hurt the economy; 60 percent say they’ll hurt the government’s ability to provide basic services; and 69 percent say they’ll hurt the military.

* Americans hold Congressional Republicans responsible for the sequester cuts by 47-33. …...Greg Sargent, WaPo

And there’s more. But what keeps cropping up over and over again is this: A lot of us want “reform” and “cuts” but not — not ever! — cuts to anything that will affect us personally. So in the end, every time, we wind up with leaving well enough alone.

Solid majorities oppose replacing the sequester cuts with cuts to major social programs the poor and elderly rely upon — rejecting the conservative argument about the safety net. (In fairness, Obama is also prepared to cut entitlement benefits as part of a grand bargain, but more judiciously.) Solid majorities support asking for more revenues from the rich, rather than cutting social programs, to replace the cuts — rejecting the conservative argument about taxes. …Greg Sargent, WaPo

That doesn’t mean Obama is home free. There’s always a way to bring down a president. Even a pop-tart in the Oval Office kitchenette can almost succeed in doing that, as well we know! But Obama isn’t going down because he’s defying the will of the American people.

…When it comes to the substance of the argument over the sequester, there is no way to look at the above numbers and declare Republicans are “winning” it, if by “winning,” we mean, “persuading the public to see things their way.” Majorities reject the values, priorities, and governing vision at the heart of the GOP stance on the sequester. Though it’s certainly possible the public could ultimately hold Obama as responsible or more responsible than Republicans for the damage the sequester does, the above findings underscore that the political outcome of this battle is uncertain. GOP triumphalism about the sequester is seriously premature. ...Greg Sargent, WaPo

By the way, in the same series of posts Sargent catches Ryan in what I’d call a major lie. His budget slashes everything, including obliterating Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But in order to boast about “no new taxes,” he slyly keeps in the tax hikes — and more — in the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan is pocketing the tax hikes in Obamacare in order to do it. Of course, these are tax increases Republicans once described as “job killing,” but Ryan is keeping them — and the $716 billion in Medicare cuts in the law he campaigned against extensively last fall — while vowing to repeal the rest of the law. …Greg Sargent, WaPo

Sheesh! He’s lying about abolishing Obamacare and he’s lying about the Medicare cuts. “Integrity” is definitely not Paul Ryan’s middle name.

Cross posted from Prairie Weather

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