Morning Examiner: Americans don’t fear the sequester

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

If President Obama was counting on the American people to pressure Republicans into tax hikes after feeling the pain of the sequester, he has a long wait ahead of him. According to a new poll conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion on behalf of McClatchy Newspapers, most Americans believe the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that began last week will have no impact on them of their families. In fact, 10 percent said they would have a positive impact, while just 39 percent were worried abut negative impacts from the cuts.

Asked about the larger economy, 47 percent of Americans did say they believed the sequester would slow economic growth. However, 27 percent said the sequester would no impact on the economy at all, while another 20 percent said it would actually help the economy. Even worse for Obama, Americans strongly prefer more spending cuts to more tax hikes when it comes to further deficit reduction. Just 37 percent of Americans want to see new tax hikes, compared to 53 percent who want to trim the deficit through mostly government spending cuts. “Voters are not in a mood to increase taxes,” said Lee Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York.

Obama’s weakness on the sequester nationally has made him weak on Capitol Hill as well. Obama had wanted $949 million added to Department of Health and Human Services budget this year to help set up Obamacare exchanges by this fall.  But the House Continuing Resolution passed last week did not include any new Obamacare implementation funding. Now it appears that Senate Democrats, desperate to avoid being blamed for a shutdown, do not have the votes to add that new spending into their CR. Obama will just have to make do with what he agreed to back in 2011.

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Michael Barone: Obama flails as Republicans stand firm on sequester
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In Other News
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The New York Times, Cuts Give Obama Path to Create Leaner Military: At a time when $46 billion in mandatory budget cuts are causing anxiety at the Pentagon, administration officials see one potential benefit: there may be an opening to argue for deep reductions in programs long in President Obama’s sights, and long resisted by Congress.
The Wall Street Journal, Senators Struggle Over Work Visas: A bipartisan Senate group, labor unions and business groups all agree it is time to overhaul the visa system for foreign workers who come to the U.S. for low-wage jobs because it can be arduous, costly and offers few protections for workers. However, there are sharp divides over how to do it.

Lefty Playbook
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Benjy Sarlin details How Jeb Bush Pulled A 360 On Immigration Reform
Sen. Sherrod Brown explains why he wants to break up the big banks

Righty Playbook
Yuval Levin on the difference between entitlement cuts and entitlement reforms.
Ross Douthat on Rand Paul’s effort to rebuild Republican credibility on national security.
Bill Kristol calls Rand Paul “the Code Pink faction of the Republican party.”
Mark Krikorian sees Trouble in Amnesty Paradise.

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