Before we get there - lets review what led up to this.
As part of the deal to extend the debt limit, Congress formed a "Super Committee" that is tasked with developing a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. If they don't do so by the end of the year, automatic cuts kick in during 2013 with a massive cut to defense spending (half a trillion dollars).
This morning President Obama unveiled his proposal for the Committee that actually amounts to around $3 trillion in deficit reduction and is heavily weighted towards tax cuts for the wealthy.
But the President threw in this little gem during the announcement of his proposal:
I will not support -- I will not support -- any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.
So if the Super Committee puts together a plan that doesn't include tax increases for the wealthiest Americans - the President will veto it. And then the automatic cuts to things like defense go into effect.
Speaker Boehner is going to have to figure out whether he'll cause his own political career more damage by agreeing to raise taxes or seeing defense spending gutted.
Welcome to hostage-town Mr. Speaker.
And nicely played Mr. President!