Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Debt Ceiling Extension Talks Take Two to Tango

After months of pushing for a big time and serious deal on resolving the debt ceiling debate by the Republicans, President Obama is forced into the negotiations. He even now wants us all to think he is the grown up in the room. I know, that makes me chuckle, too.

A person could get whiplash from the flipping and flopping done by this guy.

Originally, President Obama demanded a "clean" bill - a vote on only raising the debt ceiling. No spending cuts, no entitlement reform, no nothing. The Republicans said this is unacceptable and refused to go along to get along.

Remember that this is no new crisis. The Obama administration and Congress have known for the past two years that this day was coming. While the president claims not to be the can kicker-in-chief, that is exactly what he has done for two years. He punted this dilemma to a debt reduction commission and then promptly dismissed their conclusions out of hand.

Remember that last February this president sent a budget to Congress that was full of increased spending and unanimously rejected in the U.S. Senate.

Remember that the U.S. Congress and the White House have been under one party rule - the Democrats - until January 2011 when the House of Representatives changed to Republican control. The Democratically controlled House and Senate didn't produce a budget for the first two years of the Obama administration. The U.S. Senate, still under Democratic control, has not produced a budget in more than 800 days.

The House of Representatives, led by Republicans, passed a budget on April 15, 2011.

President Obama now insists that the leaders in both parties and he will meet every day until an agreement on the debt ceiling extension is finished. Now he wants a big effort. Now he wants to blame Republicans for his failures. Nothing new there, it is the only play in his playbook.

Obama held a press conference just before Monday's meeting with Congressional leaders. This proves it is all about politics with him and not serious negotiations. How could Republicans be expected to take this guy seriously when he vamps for the camera just before going into the meeting?

The press conference proved a few things, though, in that President Obama is an empty vessel. He is unable to see past his own political agenda and govern as the President of all people. He continues in waging class warfare, even though if the "rich" were taxed 100% that revenue would still not be enough to solve our economic woes. The "rich" already pay 40% of taxes as it is and half of American workers pay no federal income taxes at all. Is that fair? Is success something to be punished?

"It is not an option to sit by and do nothing," Obama said. This from the leader of the party that hasn't produced a budget in two years to avoid political fall-out. The man even said that instead of talking about our economic woes, he'd rather be talking about new programs. Are you kidding me?

And, whatever happened to all that eloquence that came with Obama speeches? He said, "it's hard to persuade people to do hard stuff". Really? How enlightening.

Obama continues to put it all into first person narrative. He's arrogant and into bare knuckled politics. It's the Chicago way. It is beneath the office of President yet he doesn't understand that.

After this little bit of theatre, where the reporters were only too happy to swallow everything he said and go along with the narrative that it is those nasty Tea Party people mucking things up on the Republican side, Speaker Boehner had a few things to say. While Obama was busy scolding all to "eat their peas" and make sacrifices despite political costs, Boehner said it takes two to tango.

This is going to take sacrifice, and this is going to take political capital on both sides, and I’m certainly willing to take my fair share of it, but if we’re going to take political capital then let’s step up and do the big thing and the right thing for the country,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Most Americans would say that a balanced approach is a simple one: the administration gets its debt limit increase and the American people get their spending cuts and their reforms, and adding tax increases to the equation doesn’t balance anything.”

The President is not up to the task of leading. He continues to show us who he is and we need to take him at his word on that.

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