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May 09, 2011

Boehner Claims He Wants Trillions, Not Billions, In Cuts In Exchange For Debt-Ceiling Hike
Update: John Kyl of AZ Says "I'd Like Six Trillion, Please"

My first reaction is cynical, but what does he gain by pure posturing? What point is there to setting up expectations, if he already intends to sell out completely?

If I credit him for having half a brain (I do), then I have to think this is genuine -- or at least his negotiating position will start from the trillions range.

So, that's better than before, when we started at a paltry $30 billion. But will he leverage that greater starting position into a much better gain? Or give it mostly away at the end again?

There is room for some hope; the public is unambiguously against raising the debt ceiling. So our position here is strong. I thought our position with the shutdown wasn't all that bad either, and I guess the leadership disagreed. But how can they disagree here?

Setting up a mark, at least.

The proposals Boehner laid out in New York were bold in how far they tacked to the right and how high he set the bar for spending cuts. For example, under Boehner’s vision, Republicans would have to find more than $2 trillion in cuts if they wanted to raise the debt ceiling by that amount through 2012, according to the Treasury department’s estimates on the debt limit. But Republicans could also go for a more incremental increase in the debt ceiling, coupling that with a smaller offsetting cut in spending. Boehner’s preference is for immediate cuts, not promises to pare back spending in the future or set triggers for deficit reduction.

His preference? That should be more than a mere preference. Future promises count for nothing, exactly nothing, as we've seen time and time again.

But by mentioning “trillions” in long term cuts, Boehner is clearly putting entitlement reform in play — including Medicare — since it would be near impossible to cut trillions without affecting entitlement spending.

Meh, Obama already proposed some death-panels reductions there.

I point that out because it seems to me the press is always eager to push "Republicans suggest cutting Medicare" but not so eager to note "Obama suggests cutting Medicare."

Six Trillion Now? Per the update at Hot Air. Kyl's more forward leaning. Maybe he can put some starch in Boehner's spine this time around.

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.

“You’re going to have to have significant upfront cuts,” he told reporters Monday. “You’re going to have to have significant constraints on future spending. You’re going to have to have an agreement on the next several years of budget numbers so we know exactly what those are. I think there will be other constraints on spending – there is more than one way to do that, I think there are several things that might be done.”…

“I think there will be some Medicare reform; it probably won’t satisfy Republicans in terms of what we think is necessary,” he said. “But I think it’s pretty difficult for the Democrats to simply take it all off the table.”

Not really that difficult. As easy as saying "no."

The only way to win is if Republicans are serious about not raising the debt ceiling unless Democrats come to terms.

If you make a threat, but your opponent doesn't believe you, it really adds nothing at all to your negotiating position. In fact, it may even hurt you, as he smells weakness and desperation in the threat.

Republicans have to be prepared to do what they were not willing to do before: Just walk away.


Okay that use of "just walk away" is almost completely the opposite of what I mean, but I don't care.

I just mean we really need our caucus led by The Lord Humungous. He knows what the hell he's doing.

digg this
posted by Ace at 08:00 PM

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