John Boehner’s (momentary) dismissal of Barack Obama as a partner in deficit-reduction talks has the effect of making him a “lame duck president,” Sarah Palin wrote last night on her SarahPAC website — and she’s pretty happy about it, too. Palin praises the leadership of the Republican caucus for sticking to their promises, and then reminds readers about the history of this President and the deficit:
This is the same president who proposed an absurdly irresponsible budget that would increase our debt by trillions of dollars, and whose party failed to even put forward a budget in over 800 days! This is the same president who is pushing our country to the brink because of his reckless spending on things like the nearly trillion dollar “stimulus” boondoggle. This is the same president who ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations and demonized the voices of fiscal sanity who proposed responsible plans to reform our entitlement programs and rein in our dangerous debt trajectory. This is the same president who wanted to push through an increase in the debt ceiling that didn’t include any cuts in government spending! This is the same president who wants to slam Americans with tax hikes to cover his reckless spending, but has threatened to veto a bill proposing a balanced budget amendment. This is the same president who hasn’t put forward a responsible plan himself, but has rejected reasonable proposals that would tackle our debt. This is the same president who still refuses to understand that the American electorate rejected his big government agenda last November. As I said in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Tax Day Tea Party rally, “We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.”
Now the President is outraged because the GOP House leadership called his bluff and ended discussions with him because they deemed him an obstruction to any real solution to the debt crisis.
He has been deemed a lame duck president. And he is angry now because he is being treated as such.
Palin also warns the House leadership not to “get wobbly on us now,” but says that the main problem with Obama is that he “leads from behind.” That may not be any more clear than in the deficit/debt ceiling crisis. Obama has been boosting the crisis mode with dire warnings about a failure to act, but to this moment has not come forward with any plan to deal with it. Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate have sat on their hands while Boehner and the House passed two specific plans to deal with the deficit, both of which the Senate rejected.
That’s not just “leading from behind,” it’s an abdication of responsibility. My friend Hugh Hewitt wants to have all sides show their hands on negotiations right now, and isn’t happy about what he hears from the Republicans, either:
President Obama and Speaker Boehner have been negotiating in public for weeks, but the public has been kept in the dark. Now both are accusing the other of unfairly presenting the facts, so it is time –long past time, in fact– for the two men to show their hands to the public.
What does the president propose to cut and by how much? What taxes does he propose to raise or deductions curtail or end, and what revenues does he predict will materialize as a result?
What are the $800 billion in new revenues the Speaker offered up? (This is a shocking number and unwise concession by the Speaker, and it may represent an enormous breach with the Pledge to America. The Speaker would be greatly served by putting these details out asap before anger on the right grows.)
“I’m not going to negotiate in public” is simple code for “the public won’t support what I am proposing.” The president has bluffed, cajoled and filibustered his way through a month of closed door theatrics with the assistance of a compliant MSM, and the public is weary to the bone with the Community Organizer in Chief. His petulance, self-regard and overbearing ego combines into an unprecedented persona that is both ludicrous and also alarming in that he may truly be as clueless about the economy as he often sounds.
The $800 billion seems to come from a comprehensive reform of the tax code that lowers rates, flattens the code, and — most importantly — broadens the tax base so that more people are paying into it. Better enforcement is also part of the proposal, as well as an assumption of better economic performance resulting from the tax reforms proposed. However, that information comes from leaks on the GOP side; it would be better, as Hugh says, to have these proposals made public. Most Republicans would support higher revenues that come from these kinds of systemic reforms, probably even most Tea Party supporters as well, as long as that is how the revenues get raised.
It still underscores that all of the ideas, all of the intellectual work, and all of the energy for deficit reduction has come from the Republicans. Democrats have simply refused to participate in any forward thinking of their own, and have since 2009, when the Democrats passed their last budget resolution. That’s the reason that Obama is a lame-duck President, for all intents and purposes, and for that matter, Reid is thus far a lame-duck Senate Majority Leader.