From his press conference today, it would appear that the president's negotiating strategy really is to give Republicans huge cuts in spending (and "make his base give him a hard time") and then shame them into "meeting him halfway" by agreeing to mildly raise taxes on some luxury items like corporate jet travel. (Luckily, he reassured the nervous CEOs by saying "you'll still be able to ride on your corporate jet, you'll just have to pay a little more" so hopefully they won't have a fit.)That's what constitutes shared sacrifice and fiscal responsibility. Good to know.
Now, I have no idea if the Republicans will "blink" and pretend that despite their deeply principled opposition to any kind of tax increase (because it will cost jobs, dontcha know) and eventually agree to this measly demand. But if they do, be sure to look closely because I don't think it will be a blink at all --- it will be a wink. Somehow, I just have a feeling that at the end of the day John Boehner will be able to get just enough Republicans on board with this "deal" to raise the debt ceiling. (Or maybe not, in which case the president will have to find some other face-saving item to call a win.)
Either way, once the debt ceiling is raised with much drama and phony suspense, the whole GOP caucus should go into a room and give Boehner a standing ovation.
Update: Oh, in case you were wondering, we must focus on jobs at the same time as we slash spending."We can walk and chew gum at the same time." So in the short run, Keynesianism really is dead. (I imagine it's dead in the long run too --- just like all of us.)
On tax breaks: These are good for boosting the economy, so we need to do them. (Bipartisanship!) We must restore business confidence, and nothing does that like more tax cuts. But we need to cut the deficit.
By the way, the MSNBC crawler under Obama: "61% disapprove of how Pres Obama has handled federal budget deficit (from McClatchy-Marist)"
I'm guessing that's because everything he says on the economy lately sounds like mush.