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Friday, February 08, 2013

Krauthammer: Republican Messages To Obama 1 Through 3

By Susan Duclos

Charles Krauthammer has an excellent piece out titled "Call Obama’s sequester bluff," where he describes the most important messages for the Republican Party to communicate with Americans, repetitively, after reminding the country that the Sequester spending cuts due to automatically be implement (already law unless they are replaced) were the White House's idea during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations and do not include revenue nor higher taxes.

It backfired. The Republicans have offered no concessions. Obama’s bluff is being called and he’s the desperate party. He abhors the domestic cuts. And as commander in chief he must worry about indiscriminate Pentagon cuts that his own defense secretary calls catastrophic.

So Tuesday, Obama urgently called on Congress to head off the sequester with a short-term fix. But instead of offering an alternative $1.2 trillion in cuts, Obama demanded a “balanced approach,” coupling any cuts with new tax increases.

What should the Republicans do? Nothing.

Message one: Obama received his tax hikes during the fiscal cliff deal, $41of tax increases for every $1 of spending cuts. With the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, taxes went up for 77 percent of working Americans.

Republicans should explain — message No. 1 — that in the fiscal-cliff deal the president already got major tax hikes with no corresponding spending cuts. Now it is time for a nation $16 trillion in debt to cut spending. That’s balance.

The Republicans finally have leverage. They should use it. Obama capitalized on the automaticity of the expiring Bush tax cuts to get what he wanted at the fiscal cliff — higher tax rates. Republicans now have automaticity on their side.

Message two: If Obama wants to now avoid his own sequester cuts, find them elsewhere. 

The GOP should reject it out of hand and plainly explain (message No. 2): We are quite prepared to cut elsewhere. But we already raised taxes last month. If the president wants to avoid the sequester — as we do — he must offer a substitute set of cuts.

Otherwise, Mr. President, there is nothing to discuss. Your sequester — Republicans need to reiterate that the sequester was the president’s idea in the first place — will go ahead.

Message three: The sequester is all spending cuts, revenue, taxes, reform are written nowhere into it... and will not be a part of it. 

Hence Republican message No. 3: The sequester is one thing, real tax reform quite another. The sequester is for cutting. The only question is whether it will be done automatically and indiscriminately — or whether the president will offer an alternative set of cuts.

 Krauthammer's whole piece is a must read, click over.

Republicans already have their spending cuts, due to be implemented automatically and already signed into law.

They are bad cuts, not a good deal, but they are there and talk of cuts is all the Republican leadership should be willing to discuss. The messages are clear, simply and right on point.

They can all be narrowed down to one main point: Sequester is about spending cuts. Period. Stop.