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RCP | Krauthammer: Republicans have upper hand on sequester





CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the Republicans will do what Cantor is suggesting, which is to do nothing. This is the one time since election day where Obama does not have the upper hand. He had it in the fiscal cliff negotiations because you would have had automatic hikes in taxes, which is what Republicans did not want. So they had no good options. This time, the shoe is on the other foot. This time if the Republicans do nothing, then you will get these severe cuts, $1.2 trillion, half in domestic, half in defense spending.

Obama is the one who suggested it in the negotiations on the debt ceiling in 2011, but now he doesn’t want them at all. The reason is he doesn’t want any of these domestic cuts. He’s not somebody who wants any cuts anywhere, anytime and this will be forced on him, and on the Pentagon cuts, which he would have thought the Republicans would do anything to avoid. He’s the commander-in-chief. He has to worry about what’s going to happen with the forces, his own Secretary of Defense has said it will hollow out the forces and it will cost a lot of jobs of contractors, a lot of whom live in a state he wants, Virginia.

He has to do something about this and it is unbelievable that he would have offered the Republicans a deal in which there are extra tax increases as a part of the deal. Republicans will do nothing and they should do nothing and demand if the president wants to avoid this, you do the cuts but do them somewhere else but no tax increases. (Special Report, February 5, 2013)

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