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There isn’t any deficit reduction in this. There never is. There’s not any serious deficit reduction here. They even gave away the sequester. It was hopeless, folks. You know me, I’m not obsessed with pessimism, or negativity, but I’m just telling you: There was nothing that could have been said yesterday by anybody that was going to change what happened. Now, the Republicans want to continue to complain about Obamacare, and they want to continue to complain about deficit spending.

But they hate the idea of another partial government shutdown. They just do. It isn’t gonna happen no matter what, because they still haven’t gotten over what they think is being blamed for it. Most people don’t even remember. This is the thing. The disconnect with their own voters and base, I have never seen anything like it. They are so frightened of being blamed for another shutdown that they gave up parts of the sequester, which had been a hard line on spending.

The sequester was a bipartisan deal. It was Obama’s idea. It was a Republican-Democrat achievement that really did help reduce the deficit — part of it, anyway, the rate — and this deal un-sequestered the sequester, and it increases spending in the near term for promises of some tiny long-term reductions to the tune of $2.5 billion a year. But now the Republicans in Congress believe that they now have an open field to continue to criticize Obamacare and talk about Obamacare in negative ways.

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