By Rick Albin
When President Barack Obama was asked about the sequester on the 100th day of his second term, it opened up the long-standing argument between Republicans in Congress and the White House about spending, taxing and who has the best plan.
The president was asked a question was about last week's fight about air traffic delays blamed on the sequester. A plan to move other funds was found to solve the short-term problem, but the president said it is no solution and will lead to long-term delays for years to come.
"It is true that the sequester is in place right now. It's damaging our economy and it is hurting our people and we need to to lift it," Obama said.
He said a deal needs to be reached that would improve the economy and simultaneously lower the deficit. He says there needs to be an agreement on taxing and spending.
Closer to home, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) held a town hall meeting in Wyoming Tuesday.
Like many Republicans, Huizenga thinks the answer to the nation's budget woes lies in more responsible spending, not more taxes. Obama says that a balanced approach to tax reform and more revenue and some spending cuts is the only way to approach the budget impasse.
Huizenga said he doesn't see a compromise in the near future.
"I don't see a grand bargain when the president's definition of a grand bargain is to increase taxes even further," Huizenga said. "The president got his tax increase. It's now time to start constraining our spending and figuring out how we get rid of this waste, fraud and abuse."
There are two realities that are not going to change at least short term: The sequester is in place -- it would take an act of Congress to change it and that isn't in the cards. And the president is not likely to capitulate to a cuts-only approach.
It seems Washington is on the fast track to more gridlock.