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Analyst: Only winner in sequester is irrational government

PHOENIX -- The clock is winding down as the $85 billion package of federal spending cuts moves closer to automatically kicking in.

KTAR'S political analyst Mike O'Neil said the cuts, known as a sequester, were not designed to cut spending and, at this stage, the Republicans and President Barack Obama are not likely to give an inch.

"[The sequester] was designed to put a gun to everybody's head and make them act."

The government has been trying to avoid the sequester for 18 months and O'Neil said Americans are tired of the Congressional Crisis of the Month routine.

Mesa Republican Mayor Scott Smith, whose name is being mentioned as a possible candidate in the Arizona governor race next year, said the sequester will be the shock it takes to get Congress to do its job.

"If we go through the sequester, I'm hoping the public outrage is such that we finally have an influence over the Washington, D.C. machine," he said.

Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, who has also expressed interest in running for governor in 2014, said he is not optimistic that Congress and the White House will able to stop the sequestration. Campbell is very worried about the impact on Arizona's economy.

"The last thing Arizona needs is a hit to jobs. I wish the people in D.C. could get their act together and find common ground."

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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