Republicans, determined not to fold on raising taxes yet again, are asserting publicly that Barack Obama and his Democratic Party cohorts better stop demagoguing the sequester issue because the GOP wants spending cuts, not more taxes.
While Obama keeps campaigning, this time in Virginia, using his fear tactics to frighten shipworkers, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said, "The spending cuts are going to happen and the option now for the president is, do you want to work for a different way for these savings to be achieved? And that's very doable."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., concurred, saying he'd be "happy" to offer "more flexibility" to Obama and Co. to shift the $85 billion in cuts to other programs, as long as the cuts are made. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid dismissed being flexible and so has the White House. They both want more taxes.
Obama said he’s not going to play the "blame game" at the same time that he called the sequester, which was his idea, according to Bob Woodward, a "dumb way" to cut the budget. Pentagon spokesman George Little agreed, saying of the sequester, “This is stupid."
McConnell said wryly, "Personally, I don't believe the world will end if the president's sequester takes effect. But our country would be much better served if the Democrats who run Washington would get off the campaign trail and work with us to trim the budget in a more rational way."
House Speaker John Boehner was far more blunt, noting that the House has already tried to deal with the sequester by passing two bills while the Democratic Senate has done nothing. He said, "We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass."
Reid was still blowing smoke, claiming he wanted a balanced plan: "But my Republican colleagues are standing in the way of a solution. They only want cuts and more cuts. They are willing to sacrifice three-quarters of a million jobs rather than ask multi-millionaires to pay a penny more."
McConnell said Obama was presenting a “false choice” between “Armageddon or a tax hike.”