The House Democrats put out a report on how bad the looming Sequestration is likely to be. It is actually quite frightening. We will see major cuts to air traffic controllers and food safety inspectors and border patrol and Coast Guard. We’ll see big cuts to Head Start and nutrition programs. Less medical research. Less disaster aid. Less embassy security. And all those military cuts. These cuts ought to bother Republicans at least as much as they bother Democrats. But that isn’t even the main reason that Republicans should stop Sequestration.
The Sequester is going to be bad for our economy. But it won’t be really bad. It won’t be, “helps the Republicans” bad. Instead, it will cause the recovery to continue to sputter along. The next year will be bad. But after a year and a half, the economy will likely be doing better—just in time for the midterm elections. And by the time the 2016 presidential elections come along, it is very likely the economy will be booming. And that is the last thing that Marco Rubio wants.
The Republicans are just not being smart about their scorched earth strategy. Regardless of how badly the government acts, the economy will eventually heal itself. The Republicans can’t depend upon the economy being bad forever. So they need to plan. If they do things to hurt the economy now, it is going to bite them later, because they can only sabotage the economy for so long. Now is not the time. If they were smart, they would convince the Democrats to delay the Sequester for one year. That would allow them to tank the economy just in time for the 2014 midterms.
Frankly, I don’t believe that they are capable of thinking this way. They’ve drunk their own tea. They don’t even know how the economy works anymore. If they did, they’d been dealing with the Sequester better than they are.
H/T: Greg Sargent