Ah, yes, but is it seriously seriously? Inquiring minds at the White House want to know! As Barack Obama continues his “charm offensive,” John Boehner isn’t sounding charmed. He tells Martha Raddatz that the House is done with raising revenues after January’s tax hike, and that Obama should be showing more courage than charm:
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz during an exclusive interview for “This Week” that talk of including revenue as part of an effort to strike a so-called “grand bargain” to address the $16 trillion debt of the United States was “over,” leaving Democrats and Republicans where they have been for months – at loggerheads.
“The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem.” …
“We do not have an immediate debt crisis – but we all know that we have one looming,” he said. “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.”
Raddatz plays a quote from ABC’s earlier interview with Obama in which he calls for a “smart” entitlement program. That has put Nancy Pelosi in a bind on the other side of the House aisle, according to The Hill:
President Obama’s openness to Social Security cuts as part of a sweeping budget package has put Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a tough spot.
The minority leader is straddling the gulf between a Democratic president who’s been willing to shrink pay hikes under the popular retirement program for the sake of a bipartisan deficit deal, and numerous liberals in her caucus who are fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent that change. …
First, she wants to keep a united front in the high-stakes budget battle with Obama, who has backed a less generous formula for inflationary adjustments to Social Security benefits in exchange for more tax revenue from Republicans.
Second, she wants to defend the views of her caucus, who largely oppose any change in the formula for calculating those benefits, particularly since it could hurt poor seniors who rely on Social Security for their everyday needs.
Third, she’s hoping to cultivate the image of Democrats as the more reasonable negotiators in the debate, the party willing to sacrifice in the name of deficit reduction and bipartisan compromise. Members of her caucus acknowledge it’s not an easy job to juggle the three.
At least the pressure seems to be going in the right direction — and with a President looking for a “legacy” other than adding $10 trillion in national debt over eight years, the momentum probably won’t shift in another direction soon.