Friday, December 21, 2012

Obama Takes Us Cliff Diving

Well, if there were ever a doubt what the President's political strategy was in the "fiscal cliff" deliberations, there can be no more.  His strategy boils down to this:  1) Maximize new revenue from increased tax rates 2) minimize spending cuts 3) minimize any structural changes to entitlements and 4) create as much political trouble for the Republican Party as possible.  Anyone who believes the President was negotiating in good faith simply hasn't followed the story, and they are simply not capable of being convinced.

Read this story from this morning's Washington Post on how things unraveled last night.  It really is quite evident the extent to which the President held the whip hand, and how far Boehner was going to get a deal.  The Problem was, Obama isn't interested in a deal.  At least not one in which his opponent survives to fight another day.

Barack Obama has seized this moment to exact as much political damage as he can upon the Republican Party.  He can do this for several reasons: 1) he is in a good position 2) he does not mind going over the cliff at all--it provides him with a ton of revenue, significant debt reduction and serious defense spending decreases--what's not for a Democrat to love and 3) he knows that if he waits long enough, he'll get what he wants.

I have to hand it to President Obama--he is playing a strong hand flawlessly.  He will achieve his political goals here, but it will be a Pyrrhic Victory.  The country will suffer as a result of the President's inability/unwillingness to deal with structural holes in long term entitlement spending.  He will no longer be in office when this harvest is reaped. 

And don't come at me with these "Boehner's caucus is a bunch of right wing loonies who he can't even control".  Plan B failed because it asked people who are ideologically disposed to vote against tax increases to increase taxes without ANY SPENDING CUTS from the President.  This is on the President--had Boehner gotten ANYTHING on spending cuts, he could have gone to his caucus and made a case. Read the article posted above--his adversary at the negotiating table gave him nothing. 

1 comment:

Sally said...

All great points. However, you must acknowledge that having House Republicans on record not being able to pass Plan B will be reported as 'it didn't protect the top 2%' and that is not a good thing. Had that passed, then watching Reid not bring it up for a vote would make it clear the Democrats' goal here and the press would have a hard time spinning that. Most people AREN'T paying close attention.

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