Public sides with Obama in sequester debate
As the latest drama in Washington heats up, more Americans are throwing their support behind the president. Republicans, however, seem unmoved by the polls.
The thumbs-up for Obama, who recently began his second term, comes courtesy of a Bloomberg National poll Wednesday showing his job approval rating at 55%, the highest level since September 2009. That same survey showed support for Republicans at 35%, the lowest since the poll began in September 2009. A poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center and USA Today drew similar conclusions.
Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid the sequester partly because of the massive disruptions it will cause in the lives of many Americans. At the Defense Department alone, about 700,000 employees could be furloughed along with a slew of other government workers ranging from FBI agents to rangers at national parks. Government contractors may also be affected.
Compromise in hyper-partisan Washington, though, remains as elusive as it was during the recent showdown over the fiscal cliff. Worries about the sequester are dragging down the stock market, which this week posted its worst two-day drop of the year.
Economists such as Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight argue that the sequester would harm the economy. He estimates that it would shave 0.5% from projected U.S. economic growth this year, which, though not catastrophic, couldn't be made up through other means such as by action of the Federal Reserve.
"We don't need to be implementing more austerity now," he said in an interview, adding that there are more effective ways to cut federal spending.
Some House Republicans are balking at the Obama administration's plan to avoid this calamity through a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts because, as The New York Times notes, a direct conflict with Obama "is a badge of honor" for many representing conservative districts.
Like many issues in Washington, the sequester may get resolved at the last possible moment. Worse still, politicians may punt on making a tough decision, kicking the can down the road to another day.
--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
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This latest issue, the sequester, will knock off 0.5% from our GDP, stocks will go down, hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs and/or benefits. And our national defense is being forced to cut back in an irrational way.
I don't know how they even get their 15% positive ratings. Who are the 15% who think they are doing a good job?
We could shut down all the National Parks for awhile and lay off all the rangers and keep the FBI
agents working and not one thing would slow down///////////
An uninformed citizen is an ignorant citizen. The sequester will cut 2% from budgets. If you work you just lost 2% of your pay as of January 1, 2013 from the payroll hike. You did not have a choose. Both parties are at fault but President Obama has yet to have a budget and it is required by law - but he only cares about the Obama law - HIS WISE UP AMERICA!!!!
In the Sequester what Obama is saying and what the party is doing are 2 differnt things.... Everyone wants a balanced budget..... However... no one is coming up with ways to balance it... Thats where the problem lies!
"I will veto any attempt to stop the sequester" - Barack Obama - campaigning in late 2011
Today? "Its the republicans fault".
Don't believe me - just Google it
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