It seems Republicans are ready to die on their sword of protecting tax cuts for the rich and are going to do their best to blame President Obama for their unwillingness to negotiate on anything in good faith. They've been wanting to take a pound of flesh from the working class by slashing our social safety nets and it looks like they might use this sequester to finally get their way: GOP Eager For The Sequester To Go Into Effect So They Can Blame Obama For Its Devastating Consequences:
With the sequester deadline looming just two weeks away, Republicans have adopted the public posture of cheerleading for the anticipated spending reductions to social programs, while preparing to blame President Obama for their devastating impact on middle class Americans and national security.
Republicans have yet to offer a proposal that would offset the cuts in the 113th Congress and have categorically rejected the Senate’s balanced approach of higher revenues and spending cuts. Instead they’re sitting on their hands until the March 1 deadline, informing Obama that they will not act to head off the automatic reductions. [...]
Pressed by Crowley on the consequences of the across-the-board cuts, Barrasso initially dismissed their impact before blaming Obama for any deleterious effects. “I believe the president has a lot of authority that he can decide how this works, and, yeah, he can make it very uncomfortable, which i think would be a mistake on the part of the president, but when you take a look at the total dollars there are better ways to do this, but the cuts are going to occur,” he said.
Here's more from them on the damage the cuts would do: How The Sequester’s Budget Cuts Will Devastate Already-Battered Programs:
Federal spending is scheduled to reach historic lows thanks to the Budget Control Act, which placed caps on spending as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011. Non-defense spending is already 14 percent lower than it has been at any time in the last half-century, and it could go even lower if the so-called “sequester,” a series of automatic budget cuts that will begin to take effect at the beginning of March, is allowed to occur.
The drop in domestic spending has already devastated many programs on which Americans depend. But on March 1, those cuts will get even deeper when the first $85 billion of sequester cuts take effect.
That will have a substantial impact on food safety, education, law enforcement, and safety net programs, according to estimates from Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. And if the sequester is left in place for the full year, it will cut $1.5 trillion and those effects will only get worse: Read on...
Here's a reminder from Greg Sargent on the right's decision to use the sequester as "leverage" against President Obama: We all agree that spending cuts hurt the economy. Right? Right.: