On her show Thursday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow doubted that President Barack Obama and Republicans would be able to reach a last-minute deal to avert across-the-board budget cuts.
The $85 billion worth of indiscriminate spending cuts was implemented as a part of a political deal to raise the federal debt ceiling in 2011. The so-called sequester was intended to be so devastating that it would force Republicans and Democrats to compromise on a deficit reduction plan.
"It was bad policy on purpose," Maddow explained. "This was supposed to be a bad policy that would hurt the country and particularly hurt the economy. It was designed to suck on purpose so nobody would want to do it, so nobody would want to see it go into effect, so everybody in fact would work like crazy to stop it from going into effect. This is a self-imposed horrible idea that is horrible on purpose."
Maddow said fewer people were concerned about the sequester because Congress had made a habit of "cobbling together" last-minute deals to prevent "self-imposed" disasters, citing threats of government shut downs, the federal debt ceiling, and the so-called fiscal cliff.
"So understandably, we don't panic as much anymore now when they tell us it is a new crisis. Everybody just counts on them fixing it at the last minute somehow. Can we count on them doing that again?" she wondered.
President Barack Obama will meet with top congressional leaders to negotiate a plan to avert the sequester on Friday, the same day the cuts go into effect. But Maddow noted Congress had already adjourned.
"So Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid will meet with the President and Vice President at the White House to talk about this current self-imposed disaster tomorrow," Maddow said. "But the rest of congress is done, adjourned, on their way home. presumably, tomorrow's meeting will be to try to come up with a last-minute way to avert it, but honestly with both sides of congress adjourned and the deadline upon us it kind of seems like this goose is cooked."
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: