Like purchasing a new brand new computer the information in this article will be virtually obsolete shortly after I post it. The suspense over the debt ceiling debate seems endless as the clock ticks closer to the August 2nd deadline.
The only place where you can find true leadership in this Great Debt Debate is in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. President Obama has not put a single proposal on paper that reduces the debt and Senators have only taken their hands out of their pockets long enough to kill the two budget bills that the House passed. In other words, if it were not for Speaker Boehner, House Republicans, and a handful of House Democrats then there would not be a single piece of legislation that seriously addressed the debt issue on the table.
Today there seemed be a little breath of fresh air in the debt debate as news surfaced indicating that Boehner and Reid came to an agreement on a short-term solution to the debt issue. Any fire that was spreading on that revelation was quickly put out by Obama when he denounced it. It was back to the drawing boards for both party leaders, but if Boehner and Reid cannot negotiate on a deal in good faith then why are they even talking to each other? And if neither Obama nor Boehner will budge on their positions on tax hikes, as they have both stated, then what reason do they have to sit down together for more negotiations?
For what it is worth it seemed like Reid may have willing to bend a little for a short-term solution while leaving a long-term deal for another time. With election season coming up that is a huge political liability and the President obviously was not about to have that hamper his changes for four more years in the White House. By taking such a firm stance against a short-term deal the President essentially vowed to put the politics of his reelection over the needs of the country. I’d like to call his bluff on that promise, but at this point nothing Obama does surprises me anymore. Either way, that decision is glaring evidence of what really matters to Obama – himself!
This story is changing as I write. Party leaders are building up their defenses while they prepare to go on the offense. I guess all bets are off. Boehner and Reid could not reach a deal that Obama would approve. Boehner and Obama are apparently so far away from each other that Boehner finds it useless to negotiate any further. Now it’s time to take the debate to the American people. Hot Air has some details on the Obama / Reid strategy:
As for Reid’s plan: $2.7 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes — but no entitlement reform either, and fully $1 trillion of those “cuts” are merely the savings the feds have already been counting on from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama endorsed it about an hour ago, notwithstanding his weeks-long demand for new revenue, because it ensures that the next debt-ceiling debate won’t happen until 2013 and thus achieves his main/only goal of helping him get reelected. In fact, per Ed’s post this morning, remember that as of this weekend Boehner’s short-term plan was Reid’s plan. They were going to present it as a bipartisan compromise until The One intervened and reminded Dingy Harry what’s truly important to America, namely, another four years of Barack Obama. So Reid caved, even though Obama surely would have signed Boehner’s plan, and threw this thing together as quickly and haphazardly as he could. How haphazardly? Feast your eyes.
According to a GOP aide familiar with the emerging House bill, it would provide for an immediate $1 trillion increase in the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in exchange for $1.2 trillion in cuts in federal spending.
The measure also envisions Congress approving a second round of spending cuts of $1.8 trillion or more in 2012, passage of which would trigger an additional $1.6 trillion in increased borrowing authority.
Let’s watch the shenanigans unfold!