New Sequester Plans, More Blather, No Solutions

New Sequester Plans, More Blather, No Solutions

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, will introduce their respective plans to replace the sequester this week. Both bills are understood to be dead on arrival. 

The Republicans’ plan maintains the level of spending cuts, but allows President Obama more flexibility to blunt the impact on defense and other vital government services relating to national security. The Democratic plan pushes back the sequester until the end of the year by offsetting it with an even mix of spending cuts and tax increases. But none of this matters, because neither side plans on giving in.

Instead, Democrats will blame Republicans for cutting government services in order to prevent raising taxes on the wealthy. And Republicans will accuse the president of campaigning over working together. -  Read more at The Hill

OBAMA CAMPAIGNS ON…    Continuing his campaign to pressure House Republicans into staving off the sequester cuts that he signed off on, the president will hold a campaign-style event at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport, News, Va. At 1:30p.m., he will discuss the impacts of the sequester on the defense industry and Virginia’s economy, which stands to be hit hard by the cuts.  -  See the president’s schedule here

…BUT NOBODY CARES   “As Obama and GOP lawmakers keep sounding the alarm, the American people keep pushing the snooze button,” The Fiscal Times’ Josh Boak writes. “Somehow, political leaders have been able to bore voters with a controversy that touches on three of the issues that they profess to care about the most: growing the economy, job creation, and reducing government debt.”  -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

RICH PEOPLE CARE MORE ABOUT DEFICIT REDUCTION     According to a  new study released by researchers at Northwestern and Vanderbilt universities, members of the top one percent of earners in the U.S. worry more about the national deficit than anyone else.

The survey showed 87 percent of the wealthiest respondents listed the deficit as the number one problem facing the nation. In contrast, only 7 percent of the rest of the population cited deficits as a top problem, and instead ranked the economy and jobs much higher. "We suggest that these distinctive policy preferences may help account for why certain public policies in the United States appear to deviate from what the majority of U.S. citizens want the government to do," the report’s authors, Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright and Larry M. Bartels, said in a statement. "If this is so, it raises serious issues for democratic theory." -  Read more at CNBC

SEQUESTER COULD  REDUCE GROWTH BY 0.5 PERCENT According to Glenmeade's Jason Pride  "If neither political party blinks, the headwind already imposed by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (0.5 percent - 1 percent) could grow to 1.5 percent or more as spending cuts come into effect.  -  Read more at Politico

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.