Jul 22 2011

Congressional Game of Chicken: To The Right of the Right

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The rumors and leaks are really coming fast and furious and it looks like Obama ready to sell out any Democratic principles that were left. From Jon Walker at FDL Action:

Reports circulate that President Obama may agree to a massive all cuts debt ceiling package, creating a lot of anger and a sense of betrayal because Obama will fold on his demand that any debt ceiling package contain at least a small amount of new revenue. I can’t understand the amount of anger though because from the moment Obama made this his bizarre line in the sand, chances were he would break his word. Demanding what was basically a symbolic level of loophole closing is such a small and silly hill of sand to fight over, and there was no way Obama was actually going to die on it.


Even the idea that the only thing Obama would go to the mat on here is a symbolic tax increase is almost comical, given his history of not fighting to raise taxes. Obama promised to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, but when it came down do it, he let it slide. In fact, the deal he made to extend them actually included more tax cuts. And now reports are Obama is searching for a way to avoid having this tax fight again in 2012.

It is bizarre to have Obama basically saying “I will “give in” on Social Security cuts but only to achieve my goal of changing how corporations deduct the purchase of a jet.” It just defies credulity to think a small amount of new revenue was ever really his line in the sand.

I’m not surprised Obama broke his word to his supporters again. But I am surprised he would choose to stick his flag on such a small pile of sand knowing he’ll give it up  in the end. I’m also surprised anyone takes Obama’s stances seriously anymore.

It gets worse:

That framework includes spending cuts, plus entitlement changes and increased tax revenues (as part of a tax overhaul) that would come later. But there are two big hurdles left: 1) on the substance, and 2) on soothing egos. On the substance, the most contentious matter is how you “trigger” the provisions to guarantee completing tax and entitlement reform. The Democrats have offered a trigger of letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making $250,000 or more. Republicans, meanwhile, have countered that if those Bush tax cuts are hanging in the balance, they’d offer a trigger of their own to ensure Dem action: scaling back Obama’s health-care law and eliminating the mandate. Bottom line: If entitlement and tax reform is completed on time, then the Bush tax cuts and the health-care law don’t get touched. Also on the substance front, we’re hearing that there’s yet to be an agreement on the scope of the entitlement changes. And never mind the actual individual cuts on the discretionary side. Details, details. The K Street Army is gathering forces if this deal goes through because we haven’t seen this much change in the way government spends and gathers money in a generation.

The rumors of this far right wing deal by Obama and Boehner was leaked just as the Senate Democratic leadership was sitting down with White House budget director Jacob J. Lew, setting off a very contentious meeting. After leaving the meeting Lew said that he “not aware of a deal”. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated, “There has to be a balance. There has to be some revenue and cuts. My caucus agrees with that. I hope that the president sticks with that.” Sen Diane Feinstein bluntly said “no” when asked if she and the White House were on the “same page”.

Obama is even losing the Blue Dogs. This deal to make drastic cuts in our safety net in exchange for a promise of negotiating tax increases later just isn’t working for either House or Senate Democrats and will sink Obama’s reelection.

At a town hall meeting in College Park, MD, President Obama said he would sign on any deal to raise the debt ceiling. It’s a wonder that he has any supporters left.

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