Blast from the Past:John Boehner
Do you want to know why John Boehner keeps his job through all this nonsense year after year? Let him explain it to you:
"I got 98% of what I wanted"
It's a good selling point. And considering that the final result of that was sequestration, he was right. When you look at the budget battles as one long running fight from 2011 on, you see that Democrats have achieved one thing: they allowed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, only two years late. I'd have to give the rest to the Republicans, although there are many Democrats strutting around taking credit for austerity in the midst of an epic economic downturn, so maybe they think they won too.
Update: This piece by Dave Weigel about the latest alleged GOP moderate rebellion in favor of a clean CR is very interesting. Seems they might not be on the up and up. Imagine that. He also claims that they don't believe the Democrats will provide enough votes for a clean CR, which I don't understand. Weigel says he's writing that up later today so I'll be interested to hear what he has to say.
In the meantime, don't get too excited by the Democrats marching around patting themselves on the back for being the big winners. They always do that. And a good part of the time they are wrong. Best to just wait and see what happens and hope for the best.
Update II: Speaking of blasts from the past, here's another one, just for kicks:
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Just reminding everyone how we got here.
Yes, they really want to do this
I don't think anyone considers Ezra Klein unconnected or hostile to the White House. So when he writes something like this, I assume they want it out there:
In my Bloomberg column today, I argue that the Obama administration is much more intent on reaching a deficit deal, and much less intent on making revenues a major part of it, than is commonly assumed. That’s led them to offer Republicans a deal that is not only much farther to the right than anyone had predicted, but also much farther to the right than most realize. In addition to the rise in the Medicare eligibility age and the cuts to Social Security and the minimal amount of revenues, it’d cut discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, which is an absolutely massive attack on that category of spending.
He goes on to say that they feel that if they can only get deficits "off the table" in a big way they will have the room to do other Big Things, that the only stimulus they can get is something small like extended unemployment insurance which is "better than nothing", we should want to have the Democratic President timing the massive cuts in this deal rather than grumpy Republicans in 2012 appropriations, it's good policy on the merits (really!) and finally, it will help Obama get re-elected, which is important because Mitt will make even deeper cuts.
This deal isn’t just a last-ditch effort to save the economy from the damage of a federal default. The White House would far prefer this deal to the McConnell plan, which would lift the debt ceiling without making any cuts at all. So why are administration officials so committed to striking a deal composed of policies they’ve mostly opposed? Here’s their thinking:
To put all this slightly differently, White House officials believe a big deficit reduction deal would do them enough good, both politically and economically, that it’s worth making very significant compromises on the details of that deal. If you thought getting to $4 trillion in deficit reduction was a Republican goal, you’re wrong. It’s the White House’s goal, and the only reason it might not happen is Republicans won’t let them do it.