WASHINGTON (March 2, 2013)—The deep automatic spending cuts were the law of the land Saturday and the budget battle spilled into the weekly media messages from President Barack Obama and the Republicans.
Mr. Obama said the mandated cuts are "happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit."
In the Republican-controlled House, GOP lawmakers argue that bills they passed in the last Congress with little or no Democratic support absolved them of any responsibility.
Those bills were never taken up by the Senate.
In the GOP address, Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said, "We've done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way."
Republicans refuse to accept any deal that includes more tax revenue and Democrats aren’t accepting any deal without it.
It's not the first time that government economic engineering has produced a time bomb with a short fuse.
In 2011 few lawmakers thought the deep and indiscriminate spending cuts now starting to kick in, were a good idea and the cuts are now a reality largely because President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner failed to find a way to stop them.
History shows a long trail of unintended consequences from government actions or inaction.
President Franklin Roosevelt won re-election in 1936 and believed the Great Depression was winding down.
Roosevelt and Congress thought it was time to cut free-flowing government spending and raise taxes.
The Federal Reserve tightened its financial reins, but the fragile economy couldn't withstand the blows and the Depression roared back.