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The Stupid Design of the Sequester Might Have Made It Easier for GOP to Embrace

GOPMost Americans support the basic idea of a five percent across the board cut in federal spending, which is effectively what the sequester is. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 61 percent support a 5 percent cut in overall federal spending, while only 33 percent oppose the idea.

Not surprisingly, after the leaders of both major parties spent years claiming that deficit reduction is super important,the American people are willing to support the general idea of cuts.

The poll also found that people oppose the idea of cutting the military. Only 34 percent support an eight percent across the board cut in military spending, while 60 percent oppose it. This question, though, says more about the wording of the poll than Americans’ budget preferences. Polling has constantly found that America support the general idea of cutting government spending but opposing cutting almost every specific program when they are named in a poll.

Obama designed the sequester to be blunt across the board cuts, so it would be an unacceptably bad policy. The idea was the generally stupid design of the cuts would force both sides to embrace his vision of a grand bargain.

Ironically, making the cut across the board may have made it much easier politically for Republicans to embrace the sequester. Instead of needing to defend unpopular cuts to individual programs, the GOP gets to defend the far more popular idea of just trimming the entire federal budget.

Image by DonkeyHotey released 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