It’s either devastating or a minor nuisance that the American people will hardly notice. Depending on one’s ideology and political affiliation, notions of how bad – or not – the sequester will be rests on perception and not reality.

The truth is that neither side knows. But the White House is doing its best to ratchet up fear. And during this week before the sequester takes effect, they will be parading before the cameras a bevy of “victims” of the sequester in order to get the Republicans to accept another massive tax increase.

The Obama administration has issued a helpful state by state breakdown of where the cuts are going to happen. Missing from this list are justifications for these specific cuts. Why this program? Why this amount of money? Was there an alternative to cutting this percentage from a specific program?

If Obama keeps up the fear mongering and then nothing much happens after a few weeks of the sequester being in effect, he will be a laughing stock. And if these cuts have been rigged to inflict the most amount of pain on citizens, Democrats will be in a world of hurt themselves.

Would Obama take that kind of chance? He may, if he thinks he can get away with it. That’s why Republicans should grill cabinet secretaries about how they arrived at the cuts they made. Only then can we be sure that any untoward effects from the sequester are real and not a deliberate negotiating ploy.

 

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