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July 24, 2011

Dramatization: How the Gang of Six Royally Effed Up the Debt Ceiling Battle

TITLE CARD:
Thanks, Doctor-Senator Coburn!

CAPTION:
Based on a true story.

FADE IN:
INTERIOR -- WHITE HOUSE OFFICE

EXTREME CLOSEUPS ON TWO MEN. Both are seated, but leaning toward each other aggressively.

CAMERA STAYS TIGHT ON THEIR FACES, throughout.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "I demand a clean debt ceiling hike."

SPEAKER BOEHNER: "Unacceptable; we're not writing you a blank check. The public wants us to get spending under control."

OBAMA: "Alright, how does $2 billion in cuts sound? Oh, and I'm going to claim credit for the spending cuts idea."

BOEHNER: "$2 billion? You can't possibly be serious."

OBAMA: "Oh, and I also demand that we raise taxes. But you can have credit for that."

BOEHNER: "You aren't serious at all, are you?"

OBAMA: "It's a dealbreaker. And if you walk away now, I will blame the whole mess on you and the Republicans."

BOEHNER: (mutters to self) "We are so going to pwn your ass next year." (louder now) "Here's what's on the table. We agree to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for an equal amount cut from spending. Plus your tax increase. And, no, Republicans are not going to be taking credit for that, Mr. Forgotten Campaign Promise Not To Raise Taxes on the Middle Class. Now, let's talk numbers.

OBAMA: (wary) "What did you have in mind?"

BOEHNER: "We can see our way to reduce revenue at least $2.8 trillion relative to current law. But you'll get your $700 billion tax hike."

OBAMA: "That's acceptable."

BOEHNER: "Great, I'll take it to my people."

SUDDEN CAMERA CUT TO A THIRD PERSON. In the room, apparently, the whole time.

DOCTOR-SENATOR COBURN: "Actually, my people would accept $1.3 trillion tax hike."

OBAMA: (immediately to BOEHNER) "Let me be clear. Forget the deal we just talked about. Obviously the Republicans are more ready to accept higher taxes than you led me to believe. So the new deal will be to reduce revenue by at most $2.4 trillion relative to current law. And it'll be $1.1 trillion in new taxes."

BOEHNER: (seething) "You just agreed to at least a $2.8 trillion reduction."

OBAMA: (gloating) "That deal expired almost as soon as it came out of my mouth." (winks at COBURN)

BOEHNER: "Mr. President, this cannot work if you keep going back on your offers."

OBAMA: (practically dancing in his seat) "I know!"

BOEHNER STANDS AND WALKS OUT

FADE OUT


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:36 AM

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