I’ve been keeping up on the news during our mini weekend mini-vacay and I’m typing this in haste as the fam packs up to leave our hotel room and head back home, so excuse any typos I make.
Last night, news came out that Reid was folding – “throwing in the towel” with a deal had cuts in spending greater than the increase in the debt ceiling, a raising of the debt ceiling that will take us into 2013, allowing it to be a campaign issue for 2012, and no tax increases.
If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. We’ve yet to see details about the cuts Reid is willing to make. Remember, we are dealing with Democrat Socialists, here, who are absolutely wedded to their left-wing constituencies.
A dubious Phillip Klein at the Washington Examiner threw cold water on Reid’s towel, turning it into a wet blanket:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., telegraphed the likely approach during a Friday session with liberal bloggers. Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler quoted Pelosi as saying, “We could use the offshore — the Overseas Contingency [the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan] — could take us to two-and-a-half trillion dollars.”
In other words, if you count the savings from ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — which are expected to end over the next 10 years anyway — add some additional discretionary spending cuts and assume lower interest payments, it could reach the number that Reid is proposing.
However, such a proposal wouldn’t represent $2.5 trillion in real cuts, nor would it even start to address the trajectory of our long term debt, which the rating agencies said puts us at a risk for a downgrade, even if the debt ceiling is raised.
Whatever the specifics in the in the deal were, without the tax hikes, they weren’t good enough for Obama, Ed Morrissey reports:
If this is true, then Barack Obama just took full and complete ownership of the debt-ceiling crisis and whatever ensues:
A Republican aide e-mails me: “The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no.”
Jen Rubin writes that “the President is playing with fire” if this report is correct, and that’s most certainly true. This might also explain why Reid turned around and decided to offer a bill that basically meets Republican demands. If Obama won’t accept a bipartisan compromise from Reid and McConnell, then Reid might as well just let Obama deal with Boehner instead.
As I’m sure you can imagine, Obama is handling it all with typical self-effacing modesty: Obama: I’m Dealing With Debt-Ceiling Negotiations Like Abraham Lincoln Did With Slavery…
Obama’s politically calculated insistence on a long term deal that takes him safely through the 2012 election is “Lincolnesque” how exactly?
Oh, the huge sacrifices that he’s making….“National Crisis: Obama Cancels Two Monday Night Fundraisers Because Of Debt Ceiling Impasse:
A campaign official for President Barack Obama tells CNN the president has cancelled two political fundraising appearances Monday night because of the debt ceiling situation.The president’s week-ahead schedule, released Friday night, stated he was to attend two Democratic National Committee events in Washington Monday evening. But the events were not listed on a schedule released Sunday night.
And even more tragic, he may have to postpone his lavish birthday party/fund-raiser/community organizer extravaganza on August 3, if Congress doesn’t get their act together, and eat their peas like the lecturer in Chief told them.
Our modern day Lincoln did take time away from debt talks, today To Push For Amnesty During Speech To La Raza Conference…
Byron York, Washington Examiner: Reid played key role on debt bill before Obama nixed plan:
“I think Reid wants to get this done,” says the senior Republican. “The problem is, the White House is so far out on a limb on vetoing anything that doesn’t get Obama through the 2012 election that it’s now kind of personal.” For Reid to keep working with the GOP would be a slap at the president and leader of the Democratic party — a virtually impossible scenario for the Majority Leader.
So with the debt deadline still approaching, what does Reid do now? He is said to be working on his own bill, which will include a reported $2.7 trillion in cuts, made up mostly of what Republicans call “paper savings” from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Those “paper savings” involve counting money that was never going to be spent on those wars as new spending cuts.) It’s not clear whether Reid will introduce his own bill or try to attach it to something else.
That’s what the Dems have to offer: Lame smoke and mirrors stuff. They’ve dug in.
At this point, I can think of a lot of things Obama should be impeached for.
McConnell is reportedly very bitter about how things have shaken out: McConnell: Debt deal ‘was literally within our reach’
In an angry speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans and Democrats were tantalizingly close to an agreement to resolve the debt ceiling standoff over the weekend — until President Obama nixed the deal. “A bipartisan plan to resolve this crisis was literally within our reach this weekend,” McConnell said. “We offered the president a bipartisan proposal to avoid default so that we could have the time we need to put together a serious plan for getting our house in order. He rejected it out of hand.”
Of course he does. Massive tax hikes were always part of his agenda, even when he was promising tax reductions for 95% of us.
Fox News has received details of the “Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable” that Speaker John Boehner
will pitch to his fellow House Republicans Monday at closed-door conference meeting. The pitch centers on new legislation
that includes a $1.2 trillion cap on discretionary spending.
The approach was received from a senior GOP leadership aide and reads as follows:
Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable
Republicans insisted if the President wants his debt ceiling increase, the American people will require serious spending cuts and reforms. This two-step approach meets House Republicans’ criteria by (1) making spending cuts that are larger than any debt ceiling increase; (2) implementing spending caps to restrain future spending; and (3) advancing the cause of the Balanced Budget Amendment – without tax hikes on families and job creators. While this is not the House-passed “Cut, Cap, & Balance,” it is a package that reflects the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance.
The plan includes cuts that exceed the debt hike, caps to control future spending, a balanced budget amendment, entitlement reforms and savings, and no tax hikes.
Drew at AoSHQ thinks this one may have a chance:
As Boehner said, it’s not “Cut, Cap and Balance” but that died in the Senate. This is in that spirit and it might pass. Given that we only have control over 1 out of 3 political levers of power, that’s not bad. Serious entitlement reform along the lines of the Ryan plan was never on the table with a Democratic Senate and Obama in the White House. Plus, it cuts Obama out so he gets no credit or his “balanced” (aka “hike taxes’), so Mr. Adult in the Room looks like the brat he is being dragged along, kicking and screaming.
If, big if, Boehner can pull this off and it’s acceptable to the majority of the House GOP caucus, he just might end up rolling Obama, Reid and the Gang of 6 in the Senate. Not a bad days work. I won’t even make fun of him if he cries when it’s done.
One more thing:
Dems spread the narrative, today, that Paul Ryan’s budget proposal had the same phoney military budget cuts as Reid’s plan does. I didn’t report it because I figured they were lying, but didn’t have time to check it. (Dems rely on that, you know – people being too busy or lazy to check their b.s.)
AoSHQ: Ryan: My Budget Didn’t Count Money Not Spent on Unfought Wars As Savings At All