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The Second Time Is Not the Charm

During the debt ceiling fight President Obama wanted Republicans to agree to tax increases but they refused to. Obama couldn’t even get them to agree to a tax increase trigger to improve the chances of a super committee reaching a deal. Eventually Obama offered a sequester with large defense cuts and the GOP decided that was at least acceptable. Obama thought at the time that the GOP’s unwillingness to accept defense cuts would magically make the GOP more willing to accept tax increases.

I hope everyone can see the logical fallacy behind this thinking. Republicans were already faced with the basic choice of military or tax increases. They decided a large defense cut trigger was better than a tax increase trigger.

The whole reason we are in this current situation is that congressional Republicans already concluded keeping taxes low is more important than throwing money at the Pentagon. Over a year ago the GOP decide they would rather accept a cut in defense spending and since than nothing has changed. If anything, the slow winding down of our wars made military spend even less justifiable.

If Republicans actually more “scared” of Pentagon cuts than they are of tax increases they would have never agreed to the current design of the sequester to begin with. You always put at risk what is less valuable.

Now that Republicans are again presented with the same basic choice, they have come to the same basic decision. To have ever expected a different outcome was silly.

Photo by peasap under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at