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July 27, 2011

My Last Word (Probably) To Gabe

First, let me say I like this back and forth stuff.

Second, let me also stipulate that Gabe and I (and everyone at the HQ) want the same thing...massive cuts in spending and the scope of government. The question on the table isn't the end goal, it's how do we get there and how much can we get at a time when there are people running most of the political branches who vehemently oppose us. This isn't a fight between enemies or sellouts (even with all the RINO/purity jokes), it's a debate between people of goodwill trying to find the right tactic.

With that said, let me trash Gabe (I kid).

A vote against Boehner's plan is a vote for Reid's plan.

This I was not aware of. Personally, I thought a vote against Boehner's plan is...a vote against Boehner's plan. More to the point, there's no evidence that Reid's plan is going to get out of the Senate. The GOP can filibuster it there. Is a vote against Reid a vote for Boehner? If not, why not? If Boehner's plan can't pass the House, why in the world would you think Reid's can?

FTR- I didn't say I'd vote against if I had a vote, I said I'd wait until the new plan and score came out. Boehner 1.0 is as dead as Cap, Cut and Balance. I didn't do that. Boehner did.

The reality is the House can pass Boehner and the Senate can pass Reid and then they will conference. It's not a binary choice as Gabe would have it seem. That's why I want Boehner to come in as big and front loaded as possible so that when we cut the deal, we negotiate from a big number. Where do you negotiate from when you start with $1 Billion? $133 million, some National's tickets and a pack of gum?

Even Drew admits that Cut, Cap, and Balance isn't happening while Democrats control the Senate (although he strangely then takes Boehner to task for not cutting as much as the Ryan budget, which also got shot down by the Democrats in the Senate). So what's the alternative?

I know and I addressed this. There's no rule that says the debt ceiling hike has to be offset by cuts. In fact, I don't think it ever has been. The point of linking them was using the leverage caused by the debt limit hike to get something for going along with what is normally done for free.

Personally, I think the something we get should be something we couldn't otherwise win...cuts the Democrats wouldn't normally go for. The whole point of this exercise should be to screw the Democrats into doing what they don't want to. As someone once said, "never let a crisis go to waste." Make no mistake, this is a "crisis" of the GOP's making. We could have just done what was always done and raised the ceiling. If we didn't want to force a showdown and walk away with something tangible for having played the game, we shouldn't have sat down at the table. Sure, at some point you can push to hard and they just say no. That's why $1 trillion in FY12 is folly. The number should be somewhere between $30 billion and the amount of the debt ceiling increase.

Again, when you negotiate, you state a maximum position knowing you'll come off it. Boehner 1.0 came in with our worst offer and that we'd give up from there. Why not just do a clean hike then? In essence that's what it was, at least in terms of real deficit reduction.

I'm not going to get into Gabe's scenarios about what happens if we hit the ceiling with no deal because I agree it's bad and doesn't enhance our leverage after it happens (something I covered in my post). But let's not pretend there aren't other alternatives. A week or two extension while there are negotiations between Boehner 2.0 and Reid (likely 2.0). Obama will sign it because he's a coward.

I'm also not going to get into whether or not this is an exercise in futility or not since we covered this in the comments of my original post.

I imagine this is about it from me on this. At least until we get the scoring for Boehner 2.0.


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posted by DrewM. at 01:48 PM

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