Unless Republicans agree to raise taxes for the second time in two months, the world as we know it will end next Friday. So predicted President Obama from The White House yesterday:

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. … Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

Federal, state, and local governments spent almost $6 trillion providing government services last year. Yet Obama wants the American people to believe that if the $85 billion automatic sequester cuts his White House created in 2011 actually go into effect on March 1st, American society will completely crumble. Your house will burn down, terrorists will flood over the border, airplanes will fall from the sky, your kids will become illiterate, and everyone will get cancer. All because government spending was cut by a little over 1 percent. So stock up on guns, ammunition, and dry goods now.

The White House believes Obama’s Mayan-like apocalyptic predictions will force Republicans to blink like they did on the January 1st fiscal cliff and the debt limit. But the White House has severely miscalculated. Going over the fiscal cliff would have caused a $500 billion tax hike. Reaching the debt limit would have caused a 40 percent cut in all government spending. Those are serious harms to be avoided.

But $85 billion is a rounding error compared to total government spending. And Obama already raised taxes by $160 billion on January 2nd. If that didn’t destroy the U.S. economy, then why should a spending cut half that size be any worse?

March 1st will come and March 1st will go, and like the Mayan apocalypse before it, nothing will change. Instead, Washington will just move on to the next fiscal drama, the continuing resolution which expires March 27th. Hopefully Obama and the Senate Democrats will have produced budgets by then.


From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Obama’s scare talk on spending cuts
Mark Flatten: Acting EPA head, regional official ensnared in Windsorgate email scandal
Tim Carney: 500 furloughed at GE plant subsidized and lionized by White House
Michael Barone: Republicans struggle to agree on candidates who can win
Conn Carroll: No, California’s economy is not growing faster than the rest of the country

In Other News
The New York Times, A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits in an Industry: After years of behind-the-scenes lobbying, digital health record companies are making billions thanks to President Obama’s economic stimulus package.
The Wall Street Journal, Justices Take On Campaign Funds: The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would review whether to scrap long-standing limits on how much individuals can make in total political contributions over two-year election cycles.
The Washington Post, Gen. John Allen intends to retire, decline military’s top post in Europe: Four months after taking office, President Obama approved the firing of the four-star Army general leading the war in Afghanistan. The following summer, the president sacked his replacement, Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, for making intemperate remarks to a reporter.
The Washington Post, Gas prices are on a mysterious climb: The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005.
Associated Press, McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents: Arizona took center stage in the national immigration debate Tuesday as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured the state’s border with Mexico and Sen. John McCain defended his proposed immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Phoenix.

Lefty Playbook
Derek Thompson asks Why Does the New Simpson-Bowles Deficit Plan Look So … Republican?
Benjy Sarlin reports that Rubio’s Office Insists Their Immigration Plan Isn’t The Same As Obama’s.
Greg Sargent on How Obama can make history on gay rights.

Righty Playbook
Nick Gillespie warns young Obama voters Tonight You’re Young, Tomorrow You’re Unemployed.
Robert Robb on how Obama is killing federalism.
Michael Goldhaber on Truth and Justice in the Chevron Ecuador Case.
Norman Matloff on How Foreign Students Hurt U.S. Innovation