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July 14, 2011

Is The President's Insistence on a Deal That Will Take Us Past The Elections an Economic Imperative, or a Political One?

I asked this earlier on Twitter, directing my question to Rick Klein, whoever he is. (I think he might be with ABC but who knows.)

Obama's hissy fit came when Eric Cantor began suggesting a short-term deal to give the parties more time to work out a long-term one. That's when President Piss-Pants stormed out and began writing all sorts of smack on his MySpace page and started listening to the "deep" Coldplay songs on his iPod.

But why is a long-term deal economically necessary?

Answer: It's not. This is purely political on Obama's part; he just wants this losing issue off the table, and with Republican cover on it for him. He wants to claim it's a bipartisan decision, and then to never speak of it again.

What the hell does that have to do with America's credit rating? Nothing. It's only about Obama's political capital rating.

So let's sum up:

Obama is willing to destroy America's credit rating in order to secure himself a personal short-term political advantage.

And Republicans are probably going to call this particular bluff.

Some of the options are variations on this scenario: The House passes a short-term bill which makes X billion dollars in cuts and increases the debt limit by precisely the same amount. Then Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, uses his parliamentary powers to force a vote on the bill, even if he has to attach it to something else. Republicans vote for it. In that way, House Republicans would have passed, and Senate Republicans would have voted for, a measure that both cuts spending and averts a government default. (Many GOP leaders use the word 'default,' although what would result if there is no agreement is closer to a partial government shutdown.) In any event, Republicans would have proposed and passed their own measure to increase the debt limit and avoid possible catastrophe. Obama and his Democratic allies in the Senate could stop it, or the president himself could veto it if it somehow made its way through the Senate. In any event, Obama would be the one stopping an actual measure to increase the debt ceiling.

They're also thinking about passing the Cut Cap and Balance bill.

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posted by Ace at 01:32 PM

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