Back to sequester ... I keep thinking about who will benefit from what has happened.
The Admin has backed off on immediate disaster, saying that the effects will be more gradual. One might think that the Admin will look better if "pain" will result from the sequester event. If the economy worsens, they can say it is the fault of sequester, and not the economy's suffering due to food & energy costs.
OTOH, both Nebraska and the State Dept have cleared the way for the XL pipeline. Anticipated approval of same would be some time in June. If Obama stifles that again, there could be a lot of anger mixed with the economic pain. He's also sitting on 5 or 6 permits for building CNG export ports. If he starts approving those, that could also have positive economic effects.
So, does he hold up XL and the CNG port permits ... so that economic pain can be blamed on the Rs for sequester? Or does he approve XL and the port permits, have the economy get healthier & have that help him advance his spending agenda? Of course, if XL and CNG ports help the economy, and Fed revenues should increase even without any more tax increases, that would be counter to the Admin's basic premise.
I think he missed the boat by not pushing XL approval into this year. If it had been approved before the election, and the economy had shown an uptick, by now his approval ratings would be higher. That would give the Ds more clout in the mid-terms. Of course, if he can approve it soon enough to show some economic improvement before the mid-terms, then he could look like a bit of a hero for satisfying his environmental constituency, and eventually also satisfying his union constituency. (although it appears that the environmentalists would rather XL never become reality).
My brain is aching ... I could never be a politician!