The law governing the fiscal cliff at the beginning of January 2013 favored President Obama and the Democratic Party. If nothing new was legislated the Bush tax cuts would be rescinded in their entirety, hitting households earning in excess of $250,000 per annum more heavily than others, but hitting all income tax paying households to some degree.
Wisely, the GOP agreed to isolate the tax impact, allowing the Bush tax cuts to prevail for all households save those earning in excess of $400,000 per annum. Any new tax hike now requires GOP assent at least until 2014, given the GOP majority in the House of Representatives.
The law governing the sequester, due to take place on March 1, 2013 now favors the GOP. Across the board spending cuts amounting to $85 billion for 2013 and a total of $1.2 trillion over the coming decade automatically go into effect in the absence of new legislation. Given the debt crisis and the big government crisis that currently confront the United States, conservatives should welcome this sequester, crude though its impact will be. They should welcome it because it is the only spending cut that this socialist President cannot block with his veto, and because cuts several orders of magnitude larger are essential within the next few years if the United States is not to morph into Greece.
Should the President choose to make the cuts as painful as possible in order to provoke electoral outrage, he will need to do so with a fine calculation of which he is congenitally incapable. For several Democratic senators confront re-election in Red States in 2014. Should Obama lose those seats through intemperate behavior, the 2016 elections will open up interesting possibilities for a re-invigorated GOP.