Why The Sequester Is Worse Now Than It Will Be After It Happens

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Republicans should announce “the sequester won’t be so bad” and shut up, and science tells us why.

Obama, the Dems, liberal pundits, the press, and even John Boehner are running around yelling about how horrible the sequester will be.

In some deep recesses of our minds, we agree.  “Oh, my God! We’re all going to do die!”

Fear-mongering only works in the future because, in short, nothing is as bad (or as good) as we think it will be when we think about it.

Meet Affective Forecasting and Your Impact Bias

That’s a shorthand explanation of affective forecasting—or predicting how happy or sad something will make us. Marketers and politicians want us to predict our future feelings Dan-Gilbertabout some event and to apply impact bias to that prediction.

Impact bias is the tendency to overestimate how good we’ll feel if we get what we hope for or how bad we’ll feel if we don’t. Here’s a great, short video by Dan Gilbert explaining the importance of affective forecasting.

Obama uses the science of psychology better than anyone, and the Republicans refuse to even consider it a science. This is one of the reasons why Obama beats the GOP at almost every turn.

The Sequester Won’t Be As Bad As Any Alternative

If the Republicans try to strike a deal with Obama, they will do so under the duress of extreme impact bias. In other words, their imaginations will make monsters of the sequester, and their minds will agree to a deal that mostly benefits Obama.

Obama and his advisers study the science of human behavior. Republicans don’t. In every negotiation, Obama has knowledge that Republicans lack – knowledge he uses to take advantage of the GOP.

The losers in these negotiations are the public in general and the young in particular as the GOP trades their future wealth and choices to the President.

So think about something else and let the sequester happen. It won’t be nearly as bad as you think it will when you think about it.

The Republican Party Seems Bent On Self-Destruction

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Every election cycle millions of reliable Republican voters die and even more millions of Democrat voters get the vote. Messaging and pandering won’t fix the problem. Reforming the party might.

Libertarian reforms offer the best hope, because all the other conservative factions – evangelicals, Second Amendment, home schoolers, fiscal — have hit their high-water marks. We saw that in 2012. Liberty, however, sells with the kids. Or it might, if Republicans would try it.

But I’m losing hope fast.

In the past week, Catherine Hanaway played Lucy to Ed Martin’s Charlie Brown by snatching away the RNC Rules Committee as Ed was about to put it through uprights.

Ed’s a big boy and he’ll continue to work for a stronger, larger Republican Party. But Hanaway’s back-stabbing, bait-and-switch, backroom politics damages the party with its most important block: young libertarian voters.

The GOP Screws the Ron Paul People Every Chance It Gets

Back in the early days of the Tea Party movement, our ranks were swelled by the Ron Paul folks. Not all would vote Republican, but groups like Campaign for Liberty and Liberty Restoration Project gave us energy, organization, and idea—all qualities lacking in the Republican Party since 1994.

While the libertarians remained wary of the GOP hacks like Hanaway, a new breed of Republican candidates, like Ed Martin, kept many in the fold.

Ed’s place on the reviled Republican Rules Committee was a big win for the libertarians, and a shot in the arm to the GOP’s future. It was the libertarian wing, after all, that Beshore and his Rules Committee cronies tried to undermine at the 2012 RNC convention.

Catherine Hanaway and Lance Beshore Prove The Cynics Right

Republicans like Hanaway and Beshore make it hard for me to ask young voters to have faith that the GOP will make things better. As Erick Erickson pointed out:

The fact is too many conservative groups and Republicans in Congress think the problem in Washington is Democrats in charge of government and not government itself.

I know that Republican insiders don’t like to hear it, but someone has to tell them: you are ruining this country. Stop blaming the Democrats and the press. Stop blaming tea party “whackos.” Look in the mirror and see what we see.

Until you stop trading our futures for your personal political ambitions, we don’t have your backs. We’ll stand by our champions like Ed, instead. And we’ll help him pick up the pieces when you’re done smashing our country to bits.