All Things To All People
It's been my biggest complaint about Obama from the beginning. They always do this "one from column A and one from column B" thinking they can please everyone. But to sound tough on bankers and then enact a spending freeze (on "non-security" spending, natch) is too clever by half. Combined with the deficit fetishism, it will tie his hands at the time he needs the most flexibility on jobs --- and further destroy liberalism in the process. But Evan Bayh will be happy, so that's good.
I just don't know what to say. We are all neo-Hooverists now.
Update: I'd missed this earlier. Via Atrios:
Democrats are trying to toughen budget rules to make it more difficult to run up the deficit with new tax cuts or federal benefit programs, a move Republicans say is a recipe for tax increases.
The proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would make it harder to extend permanently some tax cuts that expire at the end of this year, renew health care subsidies for laid-off workers that expire next month, or offer more help to states for Medicaid for the poor.
Some middle-class tax cuts would not be affected, and extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless may also be exempt.
The move to stiffen budget rules is aimed at softening opposition among moderates to letting the government extend itself another $1.9 trillion into debt. President Barack Obama is expected to crack down on domestic agency budgets when submitting his budget next week, but tougher steps like raising taxes and cutting benefit programs are longshots in an election year.
What was that David Plouffe was saying about bedwetters?
Update II: Grand Bargain redux:
It is the growth in the so-called entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — that is the major factor behind projections of unsustainably high deficits, due to rapidly rising health costs and an aging population.
But one administration official said that limiting the much smaller discretionary domestic budget would have symbolic value. That spending includes lawmakers’ earmarks for parochial projects, and only when the public believes such perceived waste is being wrung out will they be willing to consider reductions in popular entitlement programs, the official said.
“By helping to create a new atmosphere of fiscal discipline, it can actually also feed into debates over other components of the budget,” the official said, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity.
How about if we end one of our wars? Or create some jobs? Anybody?
As we know, Democrats are always rewarded for being fiscally responsible. If he's lucky they'll only censure him instead of impeach him.