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Posted: February 21, 2011 07:15 PM

The Huffington Post's Senior Political Editor Howard Fineman, along with The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, appeared on MSNBC's "Hardball" tonight to discuss the House GOP's recent budget cuts and the possibility of a government shutdown.

Fineman reiterated his belief that Tea Partiers in the House "might make the mistake of standing up and cheering if the government is shut down." He also stated that in polls, "the American people...say they want to cut the budget, but they also don't want social programs touched." He elaborated on this contradiction, explaining that "even though they [the American people] talk a great game about being concerned about the deficit, they really aren't willing to give up anything that they have" in terms of programs like Social Security.

When it comes to the possibility of the government shutting down, Fineman said that the Obama Administration is already warning of potential consequences such as social security checks not arriving in the mail. He also thinks that GOP House leadership is prepping for the chance of a shutdown by explaining to fellow Republicans how to blame it on the Democrats should it occur.

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