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Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report on -- if you go with just days ago President Obama turned up the heat on Republicans this week saying that they would be to blame.
If across the board spending cuts take effect on March 1.
Appearing on Tuesday with firefighters police officers and other first responders the president claimed the consequences.
Of such cuts would be -- here.
People will lose their jobs it will jeopardize our military readiness -- -- this rate job creating investments.
Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off tens of thousands of Paris left to scramble to five.
Child care for their kids.
But in a Wall Street Journal op -- house speaker John Boehner shot back saying they're sequester was the White House's idea in the first place and a product of president Obama's own failed leadership joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan and anger.
Political diary editor Jason Riley and Washington columnist.
Kim -- also Kim let's start with the merits first and the president's claims of a catastrophe.
If those spending cuts -- -- that is that correct.
We don't know exactly know what we do know is -- president has every incentive here to make it sound as though it's going to be absolutely the most dreadful thing.
The reality is -- it's a 2.5.
To the federal bracket 85 billion dollars out of -- three point eight trillion budget if you can't find that much to cut then there's a problem.
Is there enough flexibility in the sequestered to make a difference that these agency had to be able to maneuver and and and prevent things like Jason.
Cuts to air traffic control for -- that's what Republicans would like to do -- give the president some flexibility the problem is.
Democrats who want the Armageddon narrative.
Are opposed -- to why is that.
While they they like this narrative they want to pretend like I'm any cuts at all in government are Castro said that these are cuts -- catastrophic so.
They don't want to give the present possibility but the fact of the matter is we are talking about.
5% domestic spending 7%.
And defense these are doable.
And -- domestic spending these are discretionary spend because this is gonna cut in social -- right no entitlement cuts in entitlement right right OK this is this is doable.
And envy -- the word rhetorical land for the president is going to prevent dozens.
You know four horsemen of the apocalypse coming -- it's ridiculous can use your did your reporting suggests that Harry Reid has in fact explicitly rejected -- -- senate leader a request by the Republicans to be able to add more flexibility to the to the cuts.
We don't know that in particular but what we do know is that the White House they had an official down in front of the senate recently they were asked about giving -- being given us flexibility provision -- -- openly so I came back and said.
We would reject any efforts.
To actually lessen the pain of this -- -- And so the president here is getting himself into a situation where he's warning about all these human plan.
The Republicans are giving him a way out of this and they are increasingly looking to be a rejecting that just so that they can continue to bring -- hammer.
And the president -- is insisting not just on other spending cuts alternatives or even weakening the cuts he's saying look.
I want to tax increase to.
What is that all about I mean we just had -- have a huge tax increase that is also that is already according to the newspaper reports hurting consumer spending.
Why do we wanted to -- one another.
He wants that because as part of the strategy that he has been running all along which is to make it.
Virtually impossible for the Republicans to do business or sign up -- he wants them to be in a rejectionist mode so that he can blame them.
Four pushing the government into the sequester.
I would add one more thing Paul.
Flexibility is another word for flexibility its responsibility.
And I do think the Republicans should push the continuing resolution that has this so called flexibility the president is in charge of the executive branch let him take responsibility.
For deciding how these cuts should be administered which he has been dodging for three years.
I think public the president feeling very confident now has his approval ratings are up 50%.
But its point of so points higher than that of Republicans he figured I'd wanna act he think he figures I beat them on the debt ceiling debate and 111 -- beat them on the fiscal cliff.
I can do it again the poll show the public will be with me.
Now whether that as well founded confidence.
Wolf wolf wolf wolf.
We'll find out what I think that is what is driving some of -- he feels like he he can win that spot but can you think it may be overconfidence.
On the part of the president that this is different than those other two fights Jason mentioned -- so.
It it actually is Republicans -- got beat on the debt ceiling fight and the fact that they are embracing the sequester is their strategy deliberate strategy to make sure it doesn't happen again look.
They are wedding ready and willing to let this thing go into effect because I think -- a step back what are we talking about the moment what we're not talking about as Republicans.
Lack of unity on taxes or talking about spending we're talking about the size of government.
We're talking about the presence addiction to spending we're talking about priorities this is exactly where the Republicans want this debate.
To but he could they split over defense spending -- where they can a lot of their members don't want to damage that this could do to to the Pentagon.
Well and this is where the president is going to bring on the -- the hardest and try to -- -- animals but what is.
Notable here Paul.
Is that even the Republicans who have some qualms about how this is going to hit the fence.
Even made the vast majority of them understand the necessity strategic policy wise politically.
Of allowing the -- question to go into effect in the reality is that given the law is kicking and on March 1 there really isn't any real legislative options.
Is open -- I mean that Republicans what Gulfport that would change it and if Republicans give in on a tax increase again.
They are toast in 2014 when we.
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