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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Keep your eyes on this

This from American Spectator makes the most sense in explaining what's at stake in this sequester battle that I've come across thus far.
Instead of allowing the Pentagon — and the rest of the agencies — to manage their money by moving it between accounts, the Obama-congressional sequestration mandates cuts across the board. Because of this, major weapon system contracts will be cut back or canceled, the flow of new technologies defense depends on will be interrupted, and the resulting mess will end up costing taxpayers more in the long run for what could and should be bought now. And the stuff that shouldn’t be bought at all — e.g., Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’s incredibly wasteful “green energy” program that pays hundreds of dollars for a gallon of algae-based fuel instead of regular diesel fuel that could be bought for $3.20 a gallon — will continue to be bought but at even higher prices.
Sequestration prevents money management and Congress isn’t going to fix that before Friday. Obama wants the pain to be felt so that spending can be restored. The only thing we can predict is that as soon as sequestration happens, Congress will remain in crisis mode trying to fix sequestration so that the pain is reduced.
The only way Obama will allow that to happen is if spending is restored, minuscule cuts are imposed, and taxes are increased again. The “balanced” approach he preaches is nothing of the sort. When Obama says “balanced,” he means that more spending is paid for by higher taxes. He won’t agree to spending cuts, so the only way Congress can fix the problems created by sequestration is for Republicans to surrender — again — on taxes and spending. 
That, at least, is the current political wisdom. And it’s wrong. If congressional Republicans try to fix the sequestration problem now, they’ll lose the battle because they gave away their leverage in January. 
Last month, congressional Republicans kicked the federal spending problem down the road until May, foregoing the debt ceiling debate they should have insisted on. That means the sequestration problem shouldn’t be dealt with until then, when they regain their leverage. 
It also means that they have more than two months to revise the deeply-embedded political equation. 
I don't know what will happen, but I don't know that I'll be surprised with whatever happens. The Republicans are spineless enough for anything. Yet Obama's been bullying them so much that they may just stand their ground. Of all the options, the best option (at least according to the American Spectator) I think is the least likely to occur, though it would make a lot of sense to do exactly as is written here - supposing this is a good representation of all that's at stake.

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