Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On to the next round

Now that President Obama has bagged what he said he'd get for free, its on to the next round of confrontations over the federal budget. While Republicans are salivating over using the negotiations over the sequester cuts in 2 months and next debt ceiling as their opportunity to gut entitlements, the President has had a thing or two to say about that.

From his remarks before the Senate vote.
And I want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts that are being threatened for next month, those also have to be balanced -- because remember, my principle has always been let’s do things in a balanced, responsible way. And that means that revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester, in eliminating these automatic spending cuts.
From his statement released after the Senate vote.
There’s more work to do to reduce our deficits, and I’m willing to do it. But tonight’s agreement ensures that, going forward, we will continue to reduce the deficit through a combination of new spending cuts and new revenues from the wealthiest Americans.
From the White House fact sheet on the bill.
As we move forward to address our ongoing fiscal challenges, both spending cuts and continuing to ask the wealthy to do a little more will be part of a balanced approach.
And finally, in his remarks last night after the House passed the bill.
But we can't simply cut our way to prosperity. Cutting spending has to go hand-in-hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans. And we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy. So we're going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending.
Get the point?

Oh, and one more thing from his remarks last night.
Now, one last point I want to make -- while I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed. Let me repeat: We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. 
When it comes to the debt ceiling, nope...not going there.

Are you listening Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell? You don't want to mess with the counter-puncher.


  1. I don't see what in the sequester is supposed to be so scary to the president or the left. Isn't it just defense cuts and cuts to the safety net that aren't permitted to impact benefits? Where is the leverage that the right thinks they'll have and that the Dkosers are sure will amount to the end of the world?

    1. Good question, especially now that, as Deaniac pointed out, the sequester is no longer coupled to the tax increases. With the tax issue out of the way and the middle class protected the whole sequester is about cutting spending, mostly to things the Dems are perfectly comfortable cutting. I should imagine, however, that the President is perfectly comfortable with the emo crowd bellyaching because he can point to them and say, "See, the Left if furious about these spending cuts, so I'm giving up a lot here." He is well schooled in how to take advantage of the whiner brigade's all-too-predictable tirades. It's kinda fun to watch, actually. They are being played just as badly as the GOP at this point. I'm thinking now that that is what the whole chained CPI trial balloon was all about--to get the left riled.

    2. The sequester represents a 9-10% cut across most every department in most every sector of government. Unless you think the State Department (Benghazi security), the former MMS (Deepwater Horizon), etc. were being properly funded beforehand, you can see why this may pose problems.

      Unless you just hate the Pentagon so very much, you shouldn't be disheartened to watch both sides try to back out of their devil's compact.

    3. Or perhaps I would just prefer not to show our love for the Pentagon by watching our defense spending leave us with nothing to defend.

      We live in a country that wants to label Ronald Reagan a genius for causing the Soviet Union to meet its demise (or at least accelerate the process) by getting them to spend themselves into oblivion by way of an arms race, but we refuse to acknowledge that we're doing the same thing to ourselves today.

  2. See, Tien Le? See??

    You can't even HELP it. :-)

    And, don't. PLEASE!!!

    1. My concern is how much leverage Obama has over the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations. While I think he made a good deal to avert the fiscal cliff, I'm not sure how he won't have to compromise more than he'd like despite what he says. Even Harry Reid feels the president gave away his leverage on the debt ceiling. Hope he's wrong.

  3. Doesn't the deal specify that 1/2 of the deficit reduction has to come from new revenue? So then the rest is a quarter from defense and a quarter from public programs? Am I wrong about that?

    1. The two month delay is primarily paid for by allowing a long term tax break/short term revenue grab to those who want to convert their traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs.

      It doesn't take much money to move the ball 60 days forward. It only applies until Feb/March.

  4. When it comes to the debt ceiling, nope...not going there.

    Which is plainly untrue, it just won't be framed as such. There's a reason why the sequester was timed to exactly the same time as the Treasury's extraordinary powers run aground. They are ABSOLUTELY negotiating on the debt ceiling.

    Which isn't a problem. This president is now in permanent campaign mode. Each new hard deadline is actually a gift, because that just gives him another opportunity to stump for higher taxes on the 1% and a "fairness economy." He's the Occupy Wall Street president.

    ...Oh wait, I mean he's a moderate Republican. Yes.


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