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“This is the one time since Election Day where Obama does not have the upper hand. He had the upper hand in the fiscal cliff negotiations, because we would have had automatic hikes in taxes, which is what Republicans did not want. So they had no good options. This time the shoe is on the other foot. This time, if the Republicans do nothing then you will get these severe cuts — $1.2 trillion, half in domestic, half in defense spending. Obama suggested it in negotiations on the debt ceiling in 2011. But now he doesn’t want any domestic cuts.”
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one extra point though. the cuts to domestic spending are somewhat close to what Obama agreed to do with the original grand bargain while the particular defense cuts affect more Republican districts as to jobs lost and items the Repubs do not want cut.  So maybe not all the leverage is one-sided
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