Chris Stirewalt | Obama Seeks Sequester Scare

Taxes went up for every American worker this year, and Obama won a special  targeted tax rate hike on high-income households. The size of the targeted tax  hike that Obama spent most of post-election political capital on was about the  same size as what will be vacuumed out of federal spending this year: about $85  billion.

While Obama argued that the economy was strong enough to weather the tax  hikes, he says that it cannot endure spending reductions of the same size. In  fact, he says more taxes would be preferable to any reduction in federal  outlays. The president, after all, would like to see yet more taxes to finance  yet more spending.

The emergency personnel with the president today are the embodiment of  Obama’s preferred form of economic stimulus: government workers (who, not  coincidentally, are the most important part of his political base).

But aside from the economic argument, Obama is warning that unless  Republicans agree to more taxes, people will die. Obama warns of understaffed  fire departments, furloughed food inspectors and vacancies in the agency that  tracks loose nuclear material. He says he is for having the wealthy pay “their  fair share” while Republicans, must prefer raging infernos, tainted food and  radioactive waste.


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