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Obama's Strategy to Oust Republicans: Opinion

As in negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner to avert the fiscal cliff, the president has again offered no genuine spending cuts. Now, he says sequestration will require the U.S. aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf must to be cut in half. A 10% cut in naval appropriations requires a 50% reduction in that essential effort, because the Navy is already stretched too thin by Obama's repeated defense cuts and his new commitments in the Pacific.

The president is motivated by political gain to manufacture for taxpayer pain. The real spending choices imposed by sequestration, and that the president wrote the law that requires it, is poorly understood by most voters. He is exploiting the bully pulpit to wrongly blame House Republicans for what will surely follow.

The economy was teetering on recession as early as November. If Americans have another bout with 10% unemployment, he will tag sequestration and the GOP for the mess.

Neither will be true. If we have a recession, other policy failures and the January tax increases are to blame, but long lines, shortages and rising unemployment will set the stage for ousting the House Republicans in 2014.

Americans will suffer needlessly when the cuts come. Obama, seeing partisan advantage, is putting politics above public welfare.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.
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