Pethokoukis

Is the GOP going to cave on the sequester?

Image Credit: republicanconference (Flickr) (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Image Credit: republicanconference (Flickr) (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Bloomberg’s Joshua Green speculates about a “looming Republican crackup” over the sequester as anti-tax GOPers square off against pro-defense GOPers. First of all, these are not two neatly divided groups. And there are plenty of Republican hawks who worry that the the rising national debt will eventually impede America’s power projection capabilities. Well, let Green make this case:

Antitax conservatives are fine with the cuts, since they’d continue to shrink the government. But defense-minded Republicans are increasingly terrified at the ax about to fall on the Pentagon’s budget. Although it’s been overshadowed by other fights, this showdown between antitax and pro-defense Republicans has been brewing for a long time. …The clash between the two wings of the Republican Party will only intensify as the March deadline approaches. Obama may put off that reckoning if he succeeds in delaying the sequester for a few months. But the past two years have demonstrated that the Republican crusade to shrink government will eventually force it to reconcile this tension within the party.

It appears the president wants a 1:1 tax hike-to-spending cut ratio. And he will make the case that Republicans would rather hurt the military than close tax loopholes or cut corporate pork. And maybe such arguments will be effective. Chris Krueger of Washington Research Group in a research note today:

We believe that there is a slightly better than 50% chance that a sequester punt will be cobbled together around the March 27 deadline that will soften the blow of sequester and keep the government open for at least a month. … The March 27 “deal” will probably look something like the New Year’s Day Fiscal Cliff Deal (ATRA – also known as Biden-McConnell) that delayed the sequestration order from January 2 until March 1.

The delay reduced the sequester by $24B, but that was split between new revenue, from IRA Roth conversions, and spending cuts, which were then spread over two years. The cuts were split between FY13 ($4B) and FY14 ($8B) – meaning two-thirds of the cuts were put off for another day.

So long as the “revenue” needed in the deal is along the lines of the IRA Roth revenue (think pension reform or other accounting shenanigans), it could be relatively palatable to Republicans. We are still in the rhetoric phase of the negotiations where all sides are totally dug in. Once the pain of sequester begins and constituents begin to complain, politicians tend to bend quickly.

Look at it this way: The White House thinks it can get $500 billion to $600 billion in new tax revenue over a decade from limiting tax breaks on the rich. And probably another $300 billion for corporate tax reform. If that is what Obama pushes, it would be helpful for Republicans — as some have mentioned — if the GOP had its own plans for that money, such as expanding the child tax credit or some other middle-class friendly policy.

50 thoughts on “Is the GOP going to cave on the sequester?

  1. LOL…The GOP shows its big government credentials again. And clearly its stupidity. If a few billion of spending cuts are off the table when the US spends more on defense than the next 40 countries combined and nearly all of the income tax revenues there is no hope for fiscal conservatives to find a home in the Republican Party.

  2. but, but,, Van… if we don’t spend more than the next 40 countries combined the Muslims will come and get us….

    and then we’ll all be in big trouble!

    • Those guys hiding in the caves can certainly do some damage. That is why you need to give up your financial future, your dignity, and your liberty to the mountebanks in the government. You need their competence to protect you.

      • re: ” You need their competence to protect you.”

        I think it’s funny that it is said the ONLY thing that was agreed to in the Constitution was “Defense” but boy did it turn out to be a stinker of a budget deal.

        • How hard could it have been to find and sell someone who sounds brighter than some parasitic commie clown who claims to have visited 57 states?

          The voters did not reject the GOP clown because he was not smart. They rejected him because he had no principles and loved war. Since Republicans have shown that they do not have the courage to support small government and propose real cuts and since they are worse on foreign policy issues the voters will continue to reject them.

          • “They rejected him because he had no principles and loved war. Since Republicans have shown that they do not have the courage to support small government and propose real cuts and since they are worse on foreign policy issues the voters will continue to reject them.”

            Oh, get real. Obama’s 51% margin was mostly a coalition low information voters who want free stuff. They picked the right guy for the job.

          • Oh, get real. Obama’s 51% margin was mostly a coalition low information voters who want free stuff. They picked the right guy for the job.

            If your right guy could not beat a weak president who presided over such a weak economy then your party is done. The fact is that Mitt was clearly the wrong man for the job. He had no balls, no backbone, and no principles. As the war candidate he made it easy for the independents to hold their nose and vote for Obama.

          • They rejected him because he had no principles and loved war“…

            LMAO! vangel that is one of your dumbest ever lies and you’ve told your share…

            I think paul has it right, the Kenyan Kommie Klown bought the vote parasites

          • LMAO! vangel that is one of your dumbest ever lies and you’ve told your share…

            Really? Do you mean to say that Romney was a man of principle who held his ground no matter what the sentiment was? Where is the evidence for that? From what I could see he flip-flopped so often that voters lost trust in him. And he was clearly the war candidate. He had his neocon advisors attacking Obama as a president who did not want to fight as much as they did when the voters were sick of war and wanted the troops back home.

          • You can tell how committed the GOP really was to Romney by looking at the relationship right now…..

            If Romney was so good, how come he’s not leading the party right now – to help formulate strategy to retake the white house and senate?

          • Romney was too far left for the social conservatives and too ignorant for the libertarian element. He was a bad candidate chosen by a GOP leadership that is out of touch with reality.

          • re: ” chosen by a GOP leadership ” what leadership?

            Karl Rove? Jim DeMint? John McCain?

            they went through a long and exhaustive primary process where one by one – Romney bested the other GOP whackos , er contenders….

          • Karl Rove? Jim DeMint? John McCain?

            they went through a long and exhaustive primary process where one by one – Romney bested the other GOP whackos , er contenders….

            No. The primary process was fixed. So were the debates. The favoured candidates got most of the questions and most of the easy questions. Iowa was won by Ron Paul but cheating and delaying of counting votes did not reveal that fact until long after the game was decided. Had the rightful winners been announced on time most of the also-rans who were kept alive to steal votes from Romney’s most dangerous challenger would have dropped out. The election could have been about ideas and principals but Romney did not have any that he was willing to defend or had held for a long time without flip-flopping. He could not fight Obama on healthcare because Obama used a plan that was essentially the same as Romney’s. He could not fight Obama on the war because he was even further out in the deep end at a time when voters were seeking a peace candidate. He could not fight Obama on spending because he did not have any real spending cuts proposed and was playing games with baseline budgets just like Obama was. The party of evil picked a dangerous man to lead them. The independents, who were looking for a reason to vote Obama were pushed away and Obama won.

          • No. But I am saying that the ideas would have been debated and Americans would have had a real choice between a man of peace and liberty and Obama. They have not been given such a choice in more than a century. Both parties want power and control and men who promote small government and individual liberty get in the way of that power and control.

          • vangel making it up as he goes along says: “Really? Do you mean to say that Romney was a man of principle who held his ground no matter what the sentiment was?“…

            I said or implied somehow?!?!? Tell me more!

            Did you somehow, in someway misread that comment I made about Obama?

            Apparently you vangel conservatives and conservate Republicans for the GOP…

            No one that I know or follow who is actually a conservative thought that Romeny anything but a good idea…

            He had his neocon advisors attacking Obama as a president who did not want to fight as much as they did when the voters were sick of war and wanted the troops back home“…

            Well there’s a problem here vangel, Romney had no neocon or conservatives on his staff…

            He had herds and herds of ‘pseudo‘ conservatives though…

          • Spam boy, did you think that George W was a conservative?

            Name the people you consider conservatives and we will have a reference by which to judge GWB. I tend to stay away from these labels because they can mean so many different things to so many people. The labels are fine when making general points but I doubt that you can point to a single ‘conservative’ who fits the classic definition of a conservative.

          • Name the people you consider conservatives and we will have a reference by which to judge GWB“…

            Off the top of my head, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams…

          • Off the top of my head, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams…

            That is a good start. Let us look at your choices.

            First, Williams endorsed Ron Paul in 2008 and takes positions closer to Ron Paul than to any other GOP candidate. That is because their positions come from the same natural rights views. If he is your idea of a true conservative then you have to consider Ron Paul as one as well.

            Sowell, who I like on most issues, is a neoconservative. But like Williams his economic positions are closest to those of Dr. Paul. His opposition to Dr. Paul, like yours, is based purely because of his positions on war.

            As evidence of general agreement on fiscal matters I provide the following:

            On the Fed.

            On drugs.

            On the Great Depression and Newt favourite FDR.

            Let us move on to the fact that Sowell endorsed Newt. While Newt is a neocon like Sowell, he is hardly a conservative of the type that Williams and Sowell are in the economic sphere.

            Let me begin by noting that, unlike Sowell and Willliams, Newt loved FDR and his progressivism. For News, FDR is the greatest president in American of the 20th century. Remind me when that became a conservative position agin.

            Newt also supported Medicare Part D and sold it to the GOP as a lobbyist for the health industry. Now on that front Newt did represent the conservative position because most ‘conservatives’ in Congress voted for it.

            Does a ‘conservative’ endorse a candidate who thinks that FDR was the greatest president in the last century? Does a ‘conservative’ endorse a candidate who had no material difference between his position on the individual mandate and Obama’s before adopting Ron Paul’s position that it is unconstitutional? Does a real conservative endorse a candidate who is that far left on most economic issues? One who was cheering on the activities of Fannie and Freddie (who paid him) at a time when Ron Paul rightfully warned that the housing market was in a bubble. Note that Sowell and Williams agreed with Ron Paul on the issue of housing, not Newt or the other GOP candidates.

            I suggest that you are not paying attention. The history of the GOP shows that Republican presidents were elected as the peace candidates to end wars. Ike beat Truman because voters wanted the Korean war to end. Nixon won because people were tired of Vietnam. It is the Democrats that are supposed to be the party of war, not the GOP.

            But what bothers me about Sowell is that he no longer believes in a political philosophy. He simply takes up or abandons ideas whenever it is convenient for him in order to support a partisan narrative. In the area of foreign policy, Sowell seems to have given up his principles and has come to the conclusion that it is more profitable to blow with the prevailing wind. Sadly, that is what one expects of a UofC economist these days. No principles. Only narratives based on failed utilitarian ideas that are abandoned whenever it suits the narrative of the day.

          • But what bothers me about Sowell is that he no longer believes in a political philosophy. He simply takes up or abandons ideas whenever it is convenient for him in order to support a partisan narrative“…

            That’s merely your opinion based on your stand-up comedy routine apparently…

          • For a self-proclaimed conservative our friend does not really know much about his fellow conservatives.

          • For a self-proclaimed conservative our friend does not really know much about his fellow conservatives“…

            Apparently vangel your knowledge about conservatives is as deep & wide your knowledge of the shale gas business which means a micron in width and depth…

            Thanks for playing though…

          • Apparently vangel your knowledge about conservatives is as deep & wide your knowledge of the shale gas business which means a micron in width and depth…

            It is a lot better than yours. You certainly were not aware of all of the neocons among Romney’s advisors even though the names were familiar to most people who paid attention. Anyone who does not recognize John Bolton as a neoconservative is not very knowledgeable.

            As for shale gas, I turned out to be right. Exxon admitted that they were losing their shirts just as I pointed out and Chesapeake is selling off assets to stay in business. Encana and BHP have already written down some assets with more to follow. And all of that spending and drilling has yet to increase per well productivity even though most of the production takes place in the first two years. Papers are already coming out questioning the use of b>1 in hyperbolic decline assumptions. I would say that even though my knowledge is limited I was much better on the topic of shale gas than all of the ‘experts’.

          • re: ” Anyone who does not recognize John Bolton as a neoconservative is not very knowledgeable.”

            yup… without question… and about a half dozen others of similar notoriety but I don’t expect Juandoze to admit they are Neocons…. anyhow.

          • It is a lot better than yours“…

            Yes as your laughingly ridiculous comments on shale gas indicate…

            I turned out to be right. Exxon admitted that they were losing their shirts just as I pointed out and Chesapeake is selling off assets to stay in business“…

            Exxon is still investing and Chesapeak also made bets on nuclear and renewable and lost there too…

            Encana and BHP have already written down some assets with more to follow“…

            Which large business doesn’t write down assets for tax purposes?

          • Exxon is still investing and Chesapeak also made bets on nuclear and renewable and lost there too…

            None of this changes the fact that I was right. They did lose their shirts while talking up the profits that were there for the taking.

            Which large business doesn’t write down assets for tax purposes?

            Tax has nothing to do with it. The assets were written off because the companies paid far more than they were worth.

          • None of this changes the fact that I was right“…

            That’s the hilarious part, you’re not right…

            You’re merely booing from the peanut gallery while Exxon is actually doing something…

            Tax has nothing to do with it“…

            LOL!

            Yeah OK if you think so….

          • I said or implied somehow?!?!? Tell me more!

            Did you somehow, in someway misread that comment I made about Obama?

            You have made many comments. Most are along the same lines. My point is that as bad as Obama is, Romney was worse because he was the war candidate and had no principles that he was able to defend as the candidate of the GOP. How could that idiot run against Obamacare when Obama copied his own plan with some minor changes? How could he run as a fiscal conservative when he had not propose real cuts in spending and was just talking about baseline budget projections? And how could he attack Obama on civil liberties when he was arguing that Obama did not go far enough in detaining and killing innocents?

            No one that I know or follow who is actually a conservative thought that Romeny anything but a good idea…

            LOL…Than why did so-called social and fiscal conservatives back him?

            And which GOP candidates did you consider fiscal conservatives? Only one man wanted actual cuts to the budget and you guys preferred Romney (and Obama) to him.

            Well there’s a problem here vangel, Romney had no neocon or conservatives on his staff…

            Romney had mentioned around 40 foreign policy ‘advisors’. Of those more than half worked for GWB and a number were neocons. They called for a war with Iran and for a more aggressive stance against Russia. They were to the right of Bush, which is why independents who cared about war rejected Romney. The social conservatives wanted John Bolton as Secretary of State. Romney’s advisors included neocons like Bolton, Eliot Cohen, Paula Dobriansky, Robert Joseph, Eric Edelman, etc. I suggest that you study a bit more because your ignorance of the details that you need to have this debate are lacking.

          • LOL…Than why did so-called social and fiscal conservatives back him?“…

            Name one that has any credibility with conservatives…

            Romney had mentioned around 40 foreign policy ‘advisors’. Of those more than half worked for GWB and a number were neocons“…

            You like spam boy ‘seem‘ to be under the impression that George W was a conservative, hence his staff must’ve had some too…

            I guess you can be excused though vangel considering that your viewpoint seems to parrot the noise that passes as news in this country now a days…

            Ahhh, its amazing…

          • “LOL…Than why did so-called social and fiscal conservatives back him?“…

            Name one that has any credibility with conservatives…

            Rupert Murdoch, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Billy Graham, Dick Cheney, Mike Huckabee, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush,Nancy Reagan, John Boehner , Michelle Bachman, Dan Quayle, John Bolton, Lamar Alexander, Marco Rubio, Tom Coburn, Newt, Mitch McConnell, Jeb Bush, Tom Ridge, Kris Kobach, Bill Haslam, John E. Sununu, Scott Walker, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Tom Corbett, Condoleezza Rice, Al Cardenas,…

            You should find one who is liked by conservatives. Most people will find many. Once again, you show that you know very little about the subject that you are debating. Conservative leaders backed Romney and worked to get him elected. The problem is that the voters rejected many of the policies that they were trying to advance. Between their stand on immigration and the military, conservatives ensured that Obama would win. Given the lousy judgment and low moral standards of their leaders it is no wonder that so many have abandoned the GOP and have gone over to the independent label.

          • vangel says: “Rupert Murdoch, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Billy Graham, Dick Cheney, Mike Huckabee blah, blah, blah“…

            OK, now when are you going to start listing a few conservatives?

          • OK, now when are you going to start listing a few conservatives?

            I did list people considered ‘conservatives’ by American conservative organizations. You have yet to list any tht you consider conservatives.

          • You have yet to list any tht you consider conservatives“…

            Apparently you missed my answer or ignored it…

          • You like spam boy ‘seem‘ to be under the impression that George W was a conservative, hence his staff must’ve had some too…

            I am pretty sure that Dick Cheney is considered a conservative. He backed Romney and worked to get him elected. I am pretty sure that most people would consider John Bolton a conservative. Or all those people that I named in my posting. The fact that you deny the actual evidence and still cling to the lies show that you have no clue what it is that you are talking about that that you know far less than you think that you do. That is the problem with faith based positions like yours; facts are unwanted because they get in the way.

          • I am pretty sure that Dick Cheney is considered a conservative. He backed Romney and worked to get him elected“…

            OK vangel who’s doing the considering regarding Cheney’s conservatism and what work do you think he did for the Romney campaign?

          • OK vangel who’s doing the considering regarding Cheney’s conservatism and what work do you think he did for the Romney campaign?

            Are you asking if Cheney is a real conservative? I do not understand your question so you might want to restate it.

            As for what he did, Cheney raised funds for Romney and funds are what you need to win. He could not do much more because his 13% favourable polling made him a liability. Cheney’s daughter, a foreign policy hawk, also supported Romney. What I found fascinating is the Romney campaign’s refusal to allow any photographs of Cheney with Mitt. The voters were so disgusted by Cheney that Mitt ran scared from being too close to him even though most of his foreign policy advisors used to work for Bush/Cheney and were to the right of Bush.

          • Are you asking if Cheney is a real conservative? I do not understand your question so you might want to restate it

            Simple vangel, who’s making the value judgement whether Cheney is a conservative or not?

            He could not do much more because his 13% favourable polling made him a liability“…

            Ahhh yes, so this so called conservative caved to to the propaganda of what passes for news media in this country….

          • Simple vangel, who’s making the value judgement whether Cheney is a conservative or not?

            How about the American Conservative Union? The American Family Association? Citizens United? The Conservative Caucus? Once again you are avoiding the issue. Don’t you consider Cheney to be a conservative? If not then name ten conservatives that are known in American politics and we can see where your baseline is and use it as a reference.

          • How about the American Conservative Union? The American Family Association? Citizens United? The Conservative Caucus?“…

            Ahhh, the unsubstanted list…

            BTW you do realize of that those listed by the ACU are listing so called conservatives on a ‘relative scale‘, right?

            BTW have any of these outfits you listed called for the repeal of the Social Security act, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, or any of the Great Society legislation?

            I’ve not heard or read anything to that effect, hence their alledged conservative pedigrees are at the very least questionable….

          • Ahhh, the unsubstanted list…

            BTW you do realize of that those listed by the ACU are listing so called conservatives on a ‘relative scale‘, right?

            BTW have any of these outfits you listed called for the repeal of the Social Security act, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, or any of the Great Society legislation?

            I’ve not heard or read anything to that effect, hence their alledged conservative pedigrees are at the very least questionable….

            Feel free to provide your own lists as I have.

            And under your criteria none of the GOP candidates outside of Ron Paul have a chance of making the grade. He was the only one who stood on principle and rejected all activities not authorized by the Constitution.

            If your argument is based on a position that Dick Cheney, Bobby Jindal, Tom Corbett, Jonh Bolton, Jerry Falwell, Lamar Alexander, Scott Walker, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, Nancy Reagan, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Dan Quayle, Tom Coburn, Mitch McConnell, Jeb Bush, Tom Ridge, Kris Kobach, Bill Haslam, John E. Sununu, Al Cardenas, or the American Conservative Union are not conservative and the only two ‘real conservatives’ that you can name have positions on fiscal matters that are closest to Ron Paul you have a serious problem that will not be easy to solve.

            You want to try again?

          • Feel free to provide your own lists as I have.

            And under your criteria none of the GOP candidates outside of Ron Paul have a chance of making the grade. He was the only one who stood on principle and rejected all activities not authorized by the Constitutio“…

            Just idle curiosity, do you do stand-up comedy too?

          • Ahhh yes, so this so called conservative caved to to the propaganda of what passes for news media in this country….

            Yes he did.

          • “Yes he did“…

            Which should tell you how much of a conservative Cheney really is….

            He is pragmatic. If your presence will lose support for your candidate you do not have your picture taken with him. Note that all of the conservative organizations consider Cheney to be a conservative just as they consider the other neocons that I provided as examples to be one of their own. You have to look at reality as it is, not deny it by turning away.

          • Note that all of the conservative organizations consider Cheney to be a conservative just as they consider the other neocons that I provided as examples to be one of their own. You have to look at reality as it is, not deny it by turning away“…

            Do you have anything credible to back that statement up with?

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