Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Unintended Consequences: Republican Party May Yet Still Save Mr. Obama on Deficit and Debt Ceiling Increase

Mr. Obama, Say Thank You to Mr. McConnell

President Obama dug himself into a deep political pit when he proposed cutting the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, with over $3 trillion to come from spending cuts from social programs and popular programs like Medicare and Social Security.  To do this required a small concession on the part of Republicans, raising revenues from unspecified tax changes in the tune of $80 bill a year, about 5% of the current deficit.

The reaction of the Republicans should  have been sheer ecstasy.  It wasn’t because it was not 100% doctrinaire purity, showing them to be even more electorally suicidal then Mr. Obama.

Now Senator McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans has proposed a plan, the details of which will not be presented here in the cause of discouraging even further cynicism amongst the population has proposed letting Mr. Obama raise the debt ceiling in return for taking the political blame for doing so.

Clive Crook the Washington correspondent for the Financial Times nicely explains

What McConnell is suggesting is absurd in an inimitably Washington way, but may very well be the best way of out of the impasse.  . .

McConnell is suggesting a way to raise the ceiling–which he quite rightly says has to be done–while retaining and then exercising the option to denounce the raising of the ceiling. “We agree to let you do it, so long as you agree to let us attack you for it.” How brave. How principled. Voters are expected to like this?

The voters already blame Mr. Obama and the Democrats for all the spending and all the debt.  They have conveniently forgotten the Bush years which started with a huge surplus and left the country with a $1 trillion deficit.  So if Republicans can force Mr. Obama to walk away from giving them a victory he would indeed owe them a great deal of thanks.

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