Boehner on the debt ceiling: Let’s face it, Obama’s in reelection mode

posted at 5:10 pm on July 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller, a criticism that could have been leveled at The One at any time since January 2009. In fairness, Boehner’s in reelection mode too: If you believe Politico, he was more willing to play ball on tax hikes than the rest of the caucus and, fearing a mutiny, was dragged back to the hardline no-tax position after Cantor walked away from Biden’s deficit group. (Boehner insists that tax hikes were never on the table.) Nevertheless, he’s right about O playing campaign games here. Or is he?

According to five separate sources with knowledge of negotiations — including both Republicans and Democrats — the president offered an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, from 65 to 67, in exchange for Republican movement on increasing tax revenues…

A proposal to raise the eligibility age for Medicare — which was part of a budget plan put forth by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) — would face steep opposition from within the Democratic Party. The amount of money it would save is also relatively small, as the vast majority of Medicare funding is spent on more elderly populations. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the Medicare eligibility age was increased from 65 to 67, the federal government would save $124.8 billion between 2014 and 2021…

The frameworks of the deal were as follows: In exchange for raising the Medicare retirement age (in addition to other entitlement reforms and cuts that together would add up to $3 trillion), GOP leadership would sign off on $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenue raisers. Those increases, however, would only come in 2013. Republicans would have their choice of poison too. Either they could craft and pass a sweeping package of tax reforms that would result in $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenue increases, or they would be forced to de-couple the Bush era tax cuts, allowing those for people making above $250,000 to expire…

The deal fell apart, in part, because Democrats demanded an upfront commitment from Republicans that they would allow the Bush-era tax cuts to be decoupled, rather than a commitment to revisit the issue at the end of 2013.

My assumption all along has been that Obama’s floating these “grand bargain” packages involving minor entitlement reforms as pure political theater, knowing that the GOP will reject them on tax grounds and fall back to a smaller package of spending cuts only, which O will sign. Then he can turn around and sell himself next year not only as the guy who approved $2.5 trillion in cuts or whatever, but as the adult in the room who was willing to tackle entitlements before Republicans backed out of the deal to protect the rich, etc. In other words, the strategy is simply to make his opponents choke on their tax pledge, even though Obama’s own Deficit Commission offered him a way to reduce debt as a percentage of GDP by lowering tax rates across the board and eliminating special exemptions and credits. (Aside: If Geithner’s telling the truth about the sky falling three weeks from now, why is Obama wasting time with electoral gambits?) According to lefty Greg Sargent, though, both Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray are grumbling privately that the White House’s flirtation with Medicare reform is poisoning their big “Paul Ryan wants to kill your grandma” messaging campaign for next year. Presumably this is all kabuki, where Obama panders to centrists before 2012 by pretending to triangulate on entitlements while liberal Dems pander to their base by pretending that they’re worried about him selling them out, but I’d be interested in knowing whether the Republican leadership thinks it could close enough tax loopholes to get to $800 billion in revenue raisers (without raising rates) to make this happen. Is that even possible or is the number itself proof that the Democrats are playing games?

If you missed them in Headlines, read Mark Halperin’s take from a few days ago on how the debt ceiling media drama will play out — it’s spot on, except that his number is now outdated — and Major Garrett’s piece this morning wondering when Wall Street will finally start to panic about debt-ceiling gridlock and jolt the two sides into getting serious. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter: There’s only One True Debt Ceiling, and when we hit that one, no amount of compromise will get us off the hook.

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Let’s face it, Obama’s in reelection mode

Has he ever stopped?

BallisticBob on July 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Obama looks really weird in the pictures.

Have any of you ever met someone more impertinent than him?

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I’ll take a hit, but screw Wall Street. Let the debt limit be reached and force these governing leeches to reduce spending.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 11, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Controlling Medicare costs can only be done by limiting the amount of money payed for end of life treatment. We are going to have to return that part of it to private funding at the very least.

Count to 10 on July 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

as the adult in the room

Obama hasn’t reached spielhosen-stage in his development.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Aside: If Geithner’s telling the truth about the sky falling three weeks from now, why is Obama wasting time with electoral gambits?

It’s all about power. Dont waste a crisis.

the_nile on July 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM

According to lefty Greg Sargent, though, both Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray are grumbling privately that the White House’s flirtation with Medicare reform is poisoning their big “Paul Ryan wants to kill your grandma” messaging campaign for next year.

So the Dems will intentionally kill any deal so they can proclaim that the GOP is trying to kill grandma? Good luck with the election strategery.

Doughboy on July 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM

all kabuki theatre….

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Doughboy on July 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM

they got the lsm to help carry their water on this meme…

*sigh*

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

where is paul ryan? haven’t heard nary a peep….is this just the boehner/cantor show now?

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM

When will the GOP tie in illegal immigration into the gross misuse of funds for MEDICAID? S-CHIP? Welfare? Food stamps? Section-8?

SouthernGent on July 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

HOLD THE LINE!

Oil Can on July 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

The left and the right are both no good.

In 2012 they need to be thrown out.

Santelli!

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

they got the lsm to help carry their water on this meme…

*sigh*

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Yeah, but the buck stops with the President, Democrat or Republican. If failure to raise the debt ceiling really does wreak havoc on the markets as the Dems insinuate, then Obama is the one who’s gonna bear the most blame. He can try pointing the finger at Boehner or Cantor or Santa Claus for all I care. Most voters look to the President for answers. Plus it’s not like he’s earned a lot of credibility on the economy. Even the polls that inexplicably still show him hovering near 50% approval have him well below 40% when it comes to his handling of fiscal matters.

Doughboy on July 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Have any of you ever met someone more impertinent than him?

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I agree with your point but I think Nancy Pelosi is more impertinent..Just MHO..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Playing chicken in a stolen car is a whole lot easier than playing it in your own brand new vehicle. You don’t care about the potential damage.

Vashta.Nerada on July 11, 2011 at 5:31 PM

When will the GOP tie in illegal immigration into the gross misuse of funds for MEDICAID? S-CHIP? Welfare? Food stamps? Section-8?

SouthernGent on July 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

It will take more testicular fortitude, ironically probably by the women in the GOP.

Oil Can on July 11, 2011 at 5:32 PM

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Last I saw on him..he was buying expensive wine..:)

PS..Good to see you..Hope your weekend went well!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:33 PM

“… adding about $5 trillion to our financial obligations by 2020. And that’s just interest: We haven’t paid down a dime of of the national debt since 1961.”

If you have any paper money right now…

… I would suggest going out and buying some food that you can store while it still has some worth to it.

Seven Percent Solution on July 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

So if they push through the smaller deal, can’t they work on getting rid of loopholes through stand alone legislation. I have a hard time believing that this is the last chance to do some serious work.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 5:35 PM

NO NEW TAXES.

These games will blow up in Obama’s face.

WisCon on July 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM

With all due respect, what was their first clue?

The demagoguing any plans to solve these fiscal problems from the right?

The Marxist Class struggle talking points ad nauseam?

Chip on July 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Why is Barry in re-election mode? He claims he’s got five-and-a-half years to go.

Christien on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 5:35 PM

You are right it is not the last chance to do serious work..Obie and the Demo want to use their scare tatics to get folks mind off the unemployment numbers..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Why is Barry in re-election mode? He claims he’s got five-and-a-half years to go.

Christien on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

LOL!..That is a scary thought..Too Scary!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I agree with your point but I think Nancy Pelosi is more impertinent..Just MHO..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:31 PM

NO one cares what she says, or if she says anything at all, since she lost her hammer. Sure, she’s insufferable…but no power. The goon is maliciously inept and a power thug. It’s a lethal combination.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

It’s a win win situation for Obama and a lose, lose situation for the Republicans.

sandee on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

This is obama’s ‘carter kills a rabit from his row boat’ moment. He’s simply a fool.

DrW on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Obie and the Demo want to use their scare tatics to get folks mind off the unemployment numbers..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

They wish…but every month they will be reported, and adjusted down, because they lied the previous month.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

LOL!..Thanks for setting me straight..You have summed Nancy up well..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Don’t do a deal! Make the government live off the cash flow. Millions of us in small business had to do that when the credit card companies cut off our lines of credit. Even when we were paying on time. Let the government pay what they have to pay including SS, medicare, military, air traffic controllers, etc. Everybody else goes home. And then make all re-justify their existence before coming back. Remember zero-based budgeting? Even then, put everybody on a five year sunset timeline. In other words, suck it up. Millions of us have had to do that. Uncle Sam. It’s time for you to take a hair cut.

SleeplessinChicago on July 11, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Since we’re talking healthcare here, why isn’t Congress moving quickly on closing the big mistake in Obamacare whereby those at age 62 even though employed or on a pension can qualify for Medicaid? Democratics assured us it was a big mistake, so it should be easy to fix.

slickwillie2001 on July 11, 2011 at 5:45 PM

No deal. Make the democrats finally have to give something up. They haven’t given anything up in decades.

darwin on July 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM

I agree..:)

PS..But Obie and Dems will use scare tatics because that is the only play in their playbook..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:47 PM

NO one cares what she says, or if she says anything at all, since she lost her hammer. Sure, she’s insufferable…but no power. The goon is maliciously inept and a power thug. It’s a lethal combination.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Princess Nana will never be speaker again. Her stupidity has embarrassed the democratics too many times, and now that the accomplishment of a female speaker has been recorded, they can move on.

slickwillie2001 on July 11, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I would just keep throwing pro savings legislation at the Senate and the president. Somewhere, this weekend, I read that Obama turned down the purchase of software that would show duplication in government spending. If that’s true Congress needs to purchase it.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 5:50 PM

all kabuki theatre….

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Since every thing that comes out of Obowma’s mouth is a lie…

… I am left with a very cold chill up my spine when I begin to ponder on what that jackalope really has in mind.

Seven Percent Solution on July 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Good point..That makes sense to me..:)

PS..I know the GOP only controls the house and may have to compromise BUT the hand the GOP has does not come around often and they need to use it to the Country and their advantage!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:56 PM

My assumption all along has been that Obama’s floating these “grand bargain” packages involving minor entitlement reforms as pure political theater, knowing that the GOP will reject them on tax grounds and fall back to a smaller package of spending cuts only, which O will sign. Then he can turn around and sell himself next year not only as the guy who approved $2.5 trillion in cuts or whatever, but as the adult in the room who was willing to tackle entitlements before Republicans backed out of the deal to protect the rich, etc.

You really think this is his strategy? The left will go batshinola if he signs off on cuts with no new taxes, particularly after he’s made such a big deal about it. And I just don’t see Obama’s malignant narcissism allowing him to do this.

thirteen28 on July 11, 2011 at 5:59 PM

pass a bill that raises the debt limit $20 billion per month until January 2013, thus a forced normalization of spending to pre-Obama levels…

phreshone on July 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Any of it passing would be a bonus but I would just keep pitching tax reform at cost cutting at them.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Here’s my guess. Obama does not want the debt ceiling deal to happen. He knows the economy is going back into the crapper (double dip). If the debt ceiling is not increased, the stock market will tank. Next the economy goes back into recession–which it would have anyway. During the election he will blame the Rs for both the market crash and the new recession. O and Sheriff Joe will talk about how they had just about pulled us out of the mess that Bush made, when the republicans screwed up everything.

The upside is that we’ll get spending under control for a short time. Of course later the ceiling will be raised again, either by a democratic controlled Congress or by Rs caving because of all the demagoguery.

ReaganWasRight on July 11, 2011 at 6:22 PM

The Republicans will cave. They will simply find a more artful way to do so. It’s inevitable given the emotional formulation of modern politics. These are the two basic prevailing political truths of our time: that republicans are driven by fear, and that democrats are driven by hate (and by an animal understanding of republican weakness and fear in the face of this hate). The Left is empowered by the media, the instrument or means — its essential partner — in effecting its hate to rule society. Advantage: democrats. Always.

The Republicans are driven above all by a fear of the narrative-wielding power of the democrat media complex (Breitbart’s term). They fear this power more than they understand or trust the principles of their own ideology and history. This reflex of fear arises in part from a recognition that they have evolved into elites and have lost faith with their principles and traditions. So Republicans will inevitably succumb to their own fear, i.e., strike a deal to redeem themselves in the eyes of the powers that be (their tormentors) and to relieve the pressure from these tormentors.

There will be no change until a radically different kind of warrior at the presidential level emerges on the Right and completely shatters this dysfunctional equilibrium. This breakthrough will release the energies of civil rebellion and self-empowerment in our country (which is out there, but needs help and leadership) to bring down the media and the Left.

rrpjr on July 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

I agree!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Doughboy on July 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

saying a few prayers here DB

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Hey DS…went very well :)
went by too quickly though

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Seven Percent Solution on July 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM

indeed

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 6:40 PM

When will the GOP tie in illegal immigration into the gross misuse of funds for MEDICAID? S-CHIP? Welfare? Food stamps? Section-8?

SouthernGent on July 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

On the same day that the California legislature admits that California can’t afford to continue paying the tens of billions of tax dollars it spends every year on its illegal alien population. IOW, never.

They’re too afraid of being called raaaaacists.

AZCoyote on July 11, 2011 at 6:40 PM

The R’s, if they had any brains which isn’t something to count on, can say:

We wanted to save $2 trillion over 10 years. Obama wanted to save it in one year by not raising the debt ceiling. He didn’t come out and say that, of course… but we took him up on it as our pledge to you was to stop the spending.

That gives credit to where it isn’t wanted (Obama), takes credit for where it is (the Tea Party backed candidates), leaves the opposition sputtering (D’s) as they can’t very well say they want to raise taxes in the teeth of a recession or that they don’t want to cut spending…

This is not brain surgery. It’s tiddly-winks. Needless to say the R’s and D’s can’t even figure that out on their own.

ajacksonian on July 11, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agree to raise the borrowing limit, the deal will likely require deep cuts in government spending and possibly tax increases. Combined, those steps could slow the economy further.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agree to raise the borrowing limit, the deal will likely require deep cuts in government spending and possibly tax increases. Combined, those steps could slow the economy further.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

True. Detox is never easy. No easy way out of this.

SleeplessinChicago on July 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

True. Detox is never easy. No easy way out of this.

SleeplessinChicago on July 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly; – Macbeth Act I, Scene VII

Cold Turkey. Do it, do it now and get the pain over with and quickly.

ajacksonian on July 11, 2011 at 7:27 PM

I have a hard time believing that this is the last chance to do some serious work.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 5:35 PM

This is the last emergency/fire-drill before the next one.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Rush Limbaugh was aaaaall over this today. Just go to his site to get the full Limbaugh. He also feels that Obama is only using this as a re-election ploy: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_071111/content/01125110.guest.html

theotherone on July 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Cold Turkey. Do it, do it now and get the pain over with and quickly.

ajacksonian on July 11, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Agreed. Do. It. Now.

SleeplessinChicago on July 11, 2011 at 8:28 PM

hunh?

This is the grand bargain that had Brooks castigating R’s as reckless & unreasonale, you’ve got to be freakin kidding!

A paltry buck & 1/4 billion over 10yrs (that’ll never come to pass, just like the Dr fix) in exchange for nearly 10 x’s that in taxes robbery! Brooks is off his his rocker if he thinks thats a great deal.

No quarter!

CUT!

CUT!

CUT!

NO MORE TAXES!

Archimedes on July 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Combined, those steps could slow the economy further.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Yes and no. Yes because GDP would instantaneously crash. No because the crashing amount is an artificial bubble kept inflated by Federal Government spending.

If anything the numbers would start reflecting reality instead of some fantasy “recovery”.

dominigan on July 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM