Quotes of the day

posted at 10:01 pm on October 9, 2013 by Allahpundit

In interviews with numerous GOP lawmakers, members spoke with confidence – and acceptance – of the fact that the House will soon approve a short-term deal to raise the debt-ceiling and force Democrats to the negotiating table…

Still, with the debt-ceiling deadline looming next week, and markets warily watching Congress’s every move, some GOP lawmakers are against attaching anything “objectionable” for fear the Senate would reject it. In fact, some conservatives are quietly whipping support for something being called the “four-plus-four” plan, which would simultaneously pass “clean” four-week versions of a continuing resolution and debt-limit increase. The proposal, which would establish binding guidelines for talks between House Republicans and the White House and Senate Democrats, is intriguing to some Republican lawmakers…

But this proposal — which is also attractive to some members because it would also reopen the government — stands little chance of gaining majority support among Republicans, many of whom refuse to pass any clean debt-ceiling increase because of the precedent it would set. Several conservative members, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to offend their colleagues, flat-out dismissed the idea.

“That’s never gonna happen,” said one GOP lawmaker.

***

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan pitched members at the Republican Study Committee meeting just now on a process for how the impasse with President Obama over the debt ceiling could end.

Ryan told members that if Obama comes to the table and the two sides can reach an agreement in principle, the House could pass a six-week continuing resolution and debt ceiling extension to give time for the legislation implementing the agreement to be written.

The agreement would be along the lines of what Ryan proposed in his op-ed in this morning Wall Street Journal, a framework that had earlier been discussed privately by GOP leadership.

***

Reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code will spur economic growth—another goal that both parties share. The CBO says stable or declining levels of federal debt would help the economy. In addition, “federal interest payments would be smaller, policy makers would have greater leeway . . . to respond to any economic downturns . . . and the risk of a sudden fiscal crisis would be much smaller.”

This isn’t a grand bargain. For that, we need a complete rethinking of government’s approach to helping the most vulnerable, and a complete rethinking of government’s approach to health care. But right now, we need to find common ground. We need to open the federal government. We need to pay our bills today—and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let’s negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.

This is our moment to get a down payment on the debt and boost the economy. But we have to act now.

***

Is Paul Ryan a RINO?

Some conservatives were howling over Ryan’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday where the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee and current chair of the House Budget Committee suggested his plan to solve the current stalemate in Washington over the government shutdown and debt ceiling. Ryan suggested significant entitlement reform and specifically pointed to areas where he thinks Democrats and Republicans can find consensus. But, despite talking about ways to cut government spending and implement tax reform, the Wisconsin congressman angered tea partiers by not mentioning the word “Obamacare” once

But, among many tea partiers, the goal isn’t to get Congress to pass spending cuts and entitlement reform, it is to end Obamacare. And it doesn’t seem like they would accept anything else, even from a onetime right wing matinee idol like Ryan.

***

Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham Wednesday bluntly warned House Republicans that backing any deal to re-open the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling that does not include defunding Obamacare is unacceptable — and they could pay the political price.

“Anything that comes out of this has to address the core fight, which is Obamacare,” Needham told reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Needham, whose group has been central to drawing the conservative hard line, ruled out any agreement that includes other top priorities for conservatives — including tax reform and the Keystone XL pipeline — if it doesn’t also deal with Obamacare. “It’s not addressing the core fight here … [the] only acceptable way out is funding the government without funding Obamacare.”

***

It is simply absurd to suggest that we ignore Obamacare yet fight on other things for a number of reasons:

1) Social Security has been around since the ‘30s; Medicare has been around since the ‘60s; the tax system has been around for decades. We’re not getting rid of any of this any time soon. We are left with just a few ideas to tweak these programs. That opportunity is not going away any time soon. Obamacare, on the other hand, is just taking root now. Why would we ignore the most imminent threat for a long-term policy problem?

2) Social Security and Medicare are very popular, and people are leery of any changes, even ones that we think are positive. So we are going to ditch the fight over Obamacare, which is extremely unpopular, to fight for Medicare reform? Really, Paul Ryan? And they think we are politically stupid?

3) How in the world are we going to implement Medicare premium support on top of a healthcare system built on Obamacare? If you are a Republican who believes the fight against Obamacare is lost, which is presumably the view of Paul Ryan, then stop deluding yourself into thinking we will implement Medicare reform.

***

Ryan has proposed important and necessary reforms, but conservatives are right to protest. His proposal abandons the GOP’s quest to seek reforms to the Affordable Care Act – ostensibly, the impetus for the shutdown in the first place. If the GOP abandons any push for reforming the ACA through this shutdown fight, it will isolate the forces within the party whose actions resulted in the shutdown in the first place. While some may see this as a desirable outcome today, it could have far-reaching ramifications for the stability of the party and its populist appeal in the long run…

It will demonstrate that the GOP is, as ever, more concerned with perennial budgetary gripes than the pocketbook issues average Americans are struggling to contend with. Furthermore, the GOP will appear flighty, unfocused, and wracked by factionalism. While these may be accurate descriptions of the state of the party at present, it would be folly for the GOP’s leadership to embrace them outright…

If the GOP takes this route, it will only isolate the conservative members of the Congress who view the ACA as an existential threat to the country. They will be made more fractious, less amendable to reason and control, and may prevent the party from picking the next fight at a time of their choosing. It would also be a political setback for the party. There are few redeeming traits associated with this government shutdown, but Republicans appearing to mount a noble last stand against an unpopular law is one of them.

***

But there’s a history here that cannot be ignored. President Obama and the speaker famously engaged in “grand bargain” talks for several weeks in the summer of 2011, only to fall short of reaching a deal when the president demanded, at the last minute, more tax hikes than the speaker could swallow. Moreover, during the 2012 campaign, the president campaigned relentlessly on the mega-theme that, in any budget deal, the rich would have to pay a lot more in taxes — even beyond the tax hikes included in the “fiscal cliff” deal of early January 2013.

It is therefore inconceivable that, in the current environment, the speaker could secure a budget agreement with the White House and Democrats that did not include significant concessions on taxes — concessions that would badly divide the GOP…

No doubt the speaker and his allies are looking for an end-game strategy on the CR and debt-limit fights that has a chance of producing a modest victory for the GOP. That’s understandable. But, at this point, they are better off sticking with the fight they already started over Obamacare than with pursuing broader budget talks that could easily backfire.

***

“Are you putting Obamacare to the side?” Bennett asked Ryan on his show Wednesday morning.

“No,” the congressman replied. “Obamacare’s an entitlement just like any other entitlement. So that, as far as we’re concerned, is in this conversation. Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, those are the big drivers of our debt. If you look in the op-ed, I say we have to — ultimately we have to rethink all of our nation’s healthcare laws.”

But, Ryan added, “I don’t know that within the next two weeks we have a viable strategy for actually repealing Obamacare, every piece of it.”…

“We’re not saying stop going after Obamacare,” he said. “We’re saying add these other things to this list because we think they’re in this country’s interest, and by the way, in some of these instances, entitlement reform, I think the president might be willing to do this.”

***

Bennett then asked Ryan to explain how adding issues to the discussion could possibly help compromise.

Bennett: The President has seemed intransigent. Now you are raising the stakes. Why, in heaven’s name, do you think he’d be less intransigent on this.

Ryan: He clearly wants to defend his health care law. We obviously don’t like it. That’s a pretty big impasse. But I do think he wants to see the economy grow. It is in his interest to see debt reduction. There are plenty of Democrats we talk to hear in the House and in the Senate that say let’s get some debt reduction. Let’s do tax reform. We don’t have Democcrats up here saying, let’s go after Obamacare. But we do have Democrats saying let’s get some debt reduction, let’s do entitlement reforms, let’s do these things we know can grow the economy.

***

A Senior House GOP source concedes to CNN that to get the White House on board with a debt ceiling deal, House Republicans would likely have to agree to a clean short term debt ceiling increase. In exchange, Republicans would need to get clear and specific parameters from the White House for discussions and negotiations on ways to reduce the debt and deficit.

This source believes that at the end of the day, enough people in the GOP caucus could be OK with this because the economic implication of breaching the debt limit “scares people.” This source also acknowledged that under this scenario, House GOP leaders may have to agree to pass a debt ceiling bill without all Republicans on board, and with Democratic support.

***

There was, as I’ve noted before, some kind of plausible populist case for threatening a shutdown around the health care law, as a kind of exercise in noisemaking and base mobilization. But the shutdown itself is just a classic march of folly. From RedState to Heritage to all the various pro-shutdown voices in the House, nobody-but-nobody has sketched out a remotely plausible scenario in which a continued government shutdown leads to any meaningful, worth-the-fighting-for concessions on Obamacare — or to anything, really, save gradually-building pain for the few House Republicans who actually have to fight to win re-election in 2014, and the ratification of the public’s pre-existing sense that the G.O.P. can’t really be trusted with the reins of government.

Sure, the polling could be worse. Sure, assuming cooler heads ultimately prevail, it’s not likely to be an irrecoverable disaster. But something can be less than a disaster and still not make a lick of sense. And that’s what we have here: A case study, for the right’s populists, in how all the good ideas and sound impulses in the world don’t matter if you decide to fight on ground where you simply cannot win.

***

***



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…thanks buddy!…sleep tight!…something just ate my last comment!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 3:41 AM

This source believes that at the end of the day, enough people in the GOP caucus could be OK with this because the economic implication of breaching the debt limit “scares people.”

Not according to the polls we saw a few days ago, not even close. Most people don’t want to raise the debt ceiling. The people scared of “breaching the debt limit” are the corrupt ruling class elites in Washington DC! They are only projecting a false reality onto the American people in order to create the false impression that the American people are afraid and want to raise the debt ceiling, when in fact polls we saw recently indicate the opposite.

Regarding the “breaching the debt ceiling” double-speak: Raising the debt ceiling is just government speak for increasing the credit limit. Could you imagine if you asked Visa to increase your credit limit and they said no, would you tell your family that you, “breached [your] credit limit”? While it’s probably possible in some cases to run a line of credit over the limit to some extent, and this may accurately be called a breach of the credit limit, that is different than simply being denied and increase in a credit limit. This is just another example of all the propaganda being disseminated by the MSM and Washington DC to fool the American people.

FloatingRock on October 10, 2013 at 3:43 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And Trolls. Here’s a little advice for the Republican Establishment. This is my 1,300th post. Thanks for your support. My take: “The Shutdown: Will the Republicans Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws of Victory?”

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

joe schmoe asking for a short term clean CR to “reset” the debate for republicans because NOBODY is talking about Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz has lost.

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:01 AM

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:01 AM

maybe in the washington bubble he lost…but he gets a gold star from outside washington…

morning :)

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:05 AM

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

congrats KJ

thank you for the awesome takes

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:07 AM

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:05 AM

the morning joe panel mocking Sarah’s appearance in Jersey this weekend.

good morning to you:)

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:08 AM

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:08 AM

classy ain’t it….

poor niall…he’s up against joe, mika and gibbsy…fight the good fight niall!

they are still talking about cruz, they can’t stop talking about him…

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:11 AM

if the gop really thinks the left is going to sit down and talk….

*shaking the head*

again fool me once….

been there done that….NOTHING gets done…

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:07 AM

Thank you, ma’am. It has been my pleasure to vent. :)

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 7:25 AM

O/T slightly. Just found this quote and wanted to share it.

“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

We know how THAT experiment ended.

Cleombrotus on October 10, 2013 at 7:27 AM

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Niall making the point that obama’s also to blame for the shutdown.

the panel pivots to blaming Ted Cruz, obama blameless.

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:31 AM

As JugEars bulldozes the Constitution, scuttles Foriegn Affairs, expands military intervention, and continues to ‘pick winners and losers’, that billboard of George W Bush asking “Do you miss me yet?” seems evermore appropriate!

socalcon on October 10, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Yepper Renalin

Do not dare blame the One!

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:39 AM

So true socalcon

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:40 AM

cmsinaz on October 10, 2013 at 7:05 AM

the morning joe panel mocking Sarah’s appearance in Jersey this weekend.

good morning to you:)

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Living rent free in their heads….

socalcon on October 10, 2013 at 7:41 AM

. My take: “The Shutdown: Will the Republicans Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws of Victory?”

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

…it’s sad…that I’m expecting it!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 7:58 AM

Just say no to pro-amnesty Paul Ryan and his proposal for surrender!

Ryan says we should just get over the Obamacare thing and deal with it some other time. Excuse me?

Paul Ryan was almost as big a disappointment as the ’08 GOP VP nominee, and he couldn’t even beat Biden in the debate.

bluegill on October 10, 2013 at 7:59 AM

By the way, I have been putting Koolaide’s insults to use lately on this other place where I post. And I will start again on twitter. I feel like I have been forged by the fire of the HotAir comment section with Koolaide as my mentor in trashing people. I am a product of this place and have learned from the best!

bluegill on October 10, 2013 at 8:02 AM

bluegill on October 10, 2013 at 8:02 AM

says the one who spends cold lonely nights seeking comfort in anonymous twitter followers.

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Paul Ryan was almost as big a disappointment as the ’08 GOP VP nominee, and he couldn’t even beat Biden in the debate.

blueballs on October 10, 2013 at 7:59 AM

…good!…go twist your t_at on twitter!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 8:06 AM

…I can’t believe…they wouldn’t let me describe the ‘little button’…and ate the comment!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 8:09 AM

but Republicans appearing to mount a noble last stand against an unpopular law is one of them.

Keep bringing up the votes for all out repeal! Call it the Obamacare tax – taxes are fought over and repealed all the time. At some point, senate dems will realize they are up for reelection – not Obama.

monalisa on October 10, 2013 at 8:09 AM

bluegill on October 10, 2013 at 7:59 AM

paul ryan=mitt

i told you time and time again what a scumbag lying ryan was.
but ohhhhhh noooooo…you were so enamored with mitt.

eat it now honey.

eat it and love it.

i hang the stench of paul ryan gleefully around your neck

renalin on October 10, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Is Paul Ryan a RINO?

Yes.

Next question?

Myron Falwell on October 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! This is my 1,300th post.

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

…Congrats kj…I missed some in the beginning…I have some catching up to do!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Thank you, my friend!

kingsjester on October 10, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Sure, the polling could be worse. Sure, assuming cooler heads ultimately prevail, it’s not likely to be an irrecoverable disaster. But something can be less than a disaster and still not make a lick of sense. And that’s what we have here: A case study, for the right’s populists, in how all the good ideas and sound impulses in the world don’t matter if you decide to fight on ground where you simply cannot win.

Says who?

Students at the notoriously liberal University of Colorado — Boulder overwhelmingly blamed President Barack Obama and the Democrats for the shutdown of the federal government in a new video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday …

Most students appeared to place blame on the Democratic leadership.

“He’s [Obama] just being really stubborn, not willing to negotiate at all, not taking any ideas from anyone else, it’s either his way or the highway and apparently we got to shutdown the government because of that,” one student told Campus Reform.

“I have to go with the Democrats on this one,” another student told Bonham.

“Obamacare is stupid. You shouldn’t be required to have health care,” said yet another student.

AesopFan on October 10, 2013 at 8:51 AM

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