A very good piece from the New Republic on how President Obama came to realize that the Republican’s would hold NO tax cuts as a position …..
No Matter what…..
Even if it hurt the poor and elderly……
The piece takes us thru a new President fighting for more than two years to find a deal on the countries budget and it deficits …
He would work to find that deal by bending several times to Republican positions , only to find the GOP wanting EVEN more ….
He would reach out a work with GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner….
Only to find Boehner unable to uphold HIS side of the bargin…..
His actions would mirror the economic situation in Europe in that the GOP would ask for austerity (so they wouldn’t have to pay anymore taxes and be able to give MORE money to the military) while several in Obama’s corner argued for MORE stimulus than the compromise amounts Obama has agreed to trying make deals with the Republican House…
And that in the end …..
Obama would realize something we all had complained about over and over….
That in his futile efforts to make a deal with the GOP House….
He got rolled….
Only in his jobs and deficit showdown last December did he rise to the occasion and make the House Republican’s ‘put up…or shut up’….
And that WAS…
He has finally turned to the fight against his political opposition…
Under normal circumstances, the logical response to a negotiation in which one’s counterpart walks away from increasingly attractive offers is simply to give up. But, by late July 2011, this was no longer an option. There were less than two weeks before the government’s mounting pile of IOUs ran smack into the debt ceiling, risking global financial calamity. After three and a half months of largely fruitless negotiation, the White House still had to reach agreement with the Republican House.
Not surprisingly, given that Obama was determined to avoid a debt ceiling catastrophe while many Republicans believed hitting the limit might do some good, the eventual deal skewed heavily toward Republican priorities. It cut $900 billion over a decade from the pot of money Congress doles out each year and instructed a special “supercommittee” of congressmen and senators to find at least $1.2 trillion more in cuts. Were the committee to fail at this task, then the deal called for automatic cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over a decade, with roughly half to come from domestic programs, including Medicare. The deal raised not one cent of taxes.
FOR TWO AND A HALF YEARS, Obama had been hatching proposals with an eye toward winning over the opposition. In most cases, all it had gotten him was more extreme demands from Republicans and not even a pretense of bipartisan support. Now, after the searing experience of the deficit deal, he still wanted reasonable, centrist policies. But he was done trying to fit them to the ever-shifting conservative zeitgeist. When he finally turned back to jobs in August, he told his aides not to “self-edit” proposals to improve their chances of passing the Republican House. “He pushed us to make sure this was not simply a predesigned legislative compromise,” one recalls.
Sperling, who had long been a voice for ambitious policy, took the directive to heart. By the end of the month, his staff had come up with $450 billion worth of proposals to boost the economy, including an expanded version of the payroll tax cut Congress had approved the previous December. Many of the political operatives began to worry that the size of the package would be a liability and urged the wonks to scale it back. But this time, the president was inclined to be bold. The key mistake of the first stimulus—and much of his economic agenda to date—had been to undershoot. Now he was refusing to make it again.
It wasn’t the only valuable lesson the president had learned. He also seemed to recognize that the nonstop commotion over the deficit was a political loser, especially if he was at the center of it. When the so-called supercommittee convened in September, Obama got nowhere near the action. Instead, he left the congressional hagglers to forge ahead on their own and stuck single-mindedly to his message of jobs. It was the strategy he should have adopted back in April….
photo….guardian.co.ukShare on Facebook