Automatic sequester cuts originally meant to motivate Congress to pass a budget deal look like they may become reality on March 1. Congressional Republicans are refusing to consider new tax revenue as part of a deal; some GOP lawmakers even insist that the across-the-board sequester cuts should be allowed to kick in.
Republican governors, however, are bracing for the devastating impact these cuts will have on their states. On CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, Tea Party favorite Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) said Republicans should compromise on tax increases rather than let the budget cuts stand:
MAJOR GARRETT (HOST): Is it a greater danger for you to deal with these cuts or would it be a greater danger to the economy for the Republicans to give in on raising taxes? Which would you like to see?
BREWER: You don’t give me very good choices…As a governor from a western state, it is difficult for me to be honest and say ok, I know all the answers, because I don’t have all the inside baseball games, and for me to sit here and say I know every detail of what they’re dealing with there… We don’t like taxes. We don’t like increase in taxes. But we know we have to be pragmatic. We know there has to be some kind of compromise, but dang it, they need to get the job done. they don’t need to leave the public out their hanging.
House Republicans’ refusal to consider tax increases echoes the 2011 debt ceiling fight that created the sequester deal in the first place. That fight led to a downgrade of US credit for the first time in history and billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. The sequester could have even farther reaching consequences; the $85 billion in cuts will slow economic growth and gut essential programs in areas including education, food safety, disaster relief, and law enforcement — while doing little to actually reduce the deficit. For truly balanced deficit reduction, a budget deal would need to be comprised mostly of tax revenue.