In Dueling Speechs Obama And Boehner Talk Past Each Other, Accomplish Little

Their mouths were moving, but nothing of substance was coming out.

Last night, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner addressed the nation over the on going debt negotiations, and the looming August 2nd debt ceiling deadline, and, in the end, it’s hard to see what either one accomplished:

President Barack Obama elbowed his way back into the debt ceiling debate Monday night, three days after Republicans shoved him out, but he offered no hint of a solution to the escalating political and financial crisis.

If regular citizens — or markets here and overseas — were looking for reassurance in Obama’s 15-minute speech or House Speaker John Boehner’s five-minute rebuttal, they were out of luck. Instead, the men who hold the fiscal destiny of nearly 312 million people in their hands treated viewers to the unsettling spectacle of two leaders talking past, not to, each other.

With neither Obama nor House Republicans yet willing to make the final compromise necessary to seal a deal, the leader of the free world made a stunning appeal for regular citizens to call or email their representatives to end what he called the “most dangerous game.”

“This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. … We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare,” Obama added. “If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.”

The tactic seemed to have the desired effect, temporarily overwhelming the website of Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders.

Obama did call for unity, quoting Ronald Reagan and citing former presidents from both parties who support a “balanced approach” of spending cuts, revenue increases and entitlement reforms. But he also bashed Republicans, arguing that their tactics “risk sparking a deep economic crisis — one caused almost entirely by Washington” and categorically rejected Boehner’s new plan for a short-term debt ceiling hike.

“Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate,” Obama said. “And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default. But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now. In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.”

Beyond the I’m-still-here theme of the speech, Obama sought to strike the larger themes of his 2012 campaign, aimed at independent voters who have only now begun tuning into the debt debate: the need for compromise, his disgust with partisan Washington and his determination to make the rich pay their fair share. If his campaign-style rhetoric was persuasive, it came at an awkward time, during the final days when a reasonable debt ceiling compromise can still be struck.

Speaker Boehner, meanwhile, stuck to his guns and through his rhetorical support behind the take-no-prisoners-and-make-no-compromises attitude of the Tea Party wing of his caucus, which doesn’t seem to be the position he actually wants to be in:

In an extraordinary contrast, Boehner delivered a response only minutes later from the Capitol. He sought to flip the script on Obama, accusing him of not being able to take “yes for an answer” in bipartisan debt negotiations while accusing the president of trying to hike taxes and avoiding tough decisions on entitlement reform.

“The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today,” Boehner said. “That is just not going to happen.”

Boehner’s decision to deliver his own prime-time rebuttal irked the White House, which had been negotiating quietly with networks for much of Monday. And the open conflict between the two men, just days after they seemed to be on the verge of a $3 trillion-to-$4 trillion “grand bargain,” appeared to leave both men feeling a bit like star-crossed Shakespearean characters forced reluctantly into combat.

After all, these were two leaders so eager to avoid the appearance of conflict they opted to play in the same twosome during their famous first round of golf in mid-June. On Monday night, Obama, for his part, went out of his way to praise Boehner’s seriousness. And the speaker, a born deal-cutter stymied by his conservative members, was caught quipping, “I didn’t sign up for going mano-a-mano with the president of United States,” as he walked out of the Capitol after delivering his remarks. The CBS producer who heard him Tweeted Boehner’s comments.

And yes, that is the position that Boehner finds himself in.

The speeches themselves struck me as rather pointless. With one week to go before a deadline that his Administration has been warning about for months, the President seemed far too detached from the process and completely behind the times. He spent time talking about the debate over taxes as part of a debt deal, even though yesterday’s release of the Reid plan which his White House immediately endorsed completely conceded the tax issue, thus handing the GOP a huge tactical victory in any future debate over the coming days. The President may not realize it, but the discussions about taxes is over, they’re done. Now, it’s an argument over how big the spending cuts will be, and whether the debt ceiling increase will be a single increase that will push us past the 2012 elections, or a two-step approach that ties a second increase in the debt ceiling to further spending cuts and/or entitlement reform.Perhaps that’s why the President looked weak last night. Instead of pushing his own plan, he’s reduced to getting behind one developed by Harry Reid, which is perhaps why his endorsement of the Reid Plan was one of the shorter parts of the address.

The President did make a good point about the superiority of a single debt ceiling increase to the two-step approach that the Boehner proposal foresees. As I’ve said here several times over the past couple days, he’s absolutely right on this issue and it’s the kind of issue that, properly framed, the President could use to his advantages in a rhetorical battle with the House GOP.  Except the President completely failed to properly framed the debate on even that issue to his advantage.  Most importantly, he stepped back from his previous position and did not say that he would veto a bill that continued a short-term debt increase if one was presented to him. This morning on the morning shoes, his advisers are also refusing to make that commitment. It raises the question of whether there’s anything that the President would consider unacceptable at this point, and I’m thinking that the answer is no. As long as he gets a bill that raises the debt ceiling before August 2nd, he’ll sign it. The House GOP knows this, and they’re proceeding accordingly.

In his speech, meanwhile, Speaker Boehner essentially tried to write the President out of the process. Claiming that Congress had come to the White House with a bipartisan plan that would avoid an a August 2nd default, which apparently involved a short-term increase with cuts and a commission to come up with additional costs, Boehner said that Congress would not go it on its own. What he really meant, of course, is that the House will go on its own, pass some legislative version of the plan that he unveiled yesterday, and send it to the Senate.  Even if he’s able to do that, and there’s some doubt about that given the conservative House members who have already come out against the plan, it’s unclear where things go from there because the Senate does not seem positively disposed toward the Boehner plan. Logically, that means that the solution that comes out of Congress should be some hybrid of the Boehner and Reid plans.  However logic has been sorely lacking in this debate and the only thing that seems likely at this point is more gridlock.

The speeches that President Obama and Speaker Boehner gave last night were not addresses to the nation, they were campaign speeches. President Obama was attempting to rally the people behind him against the House GOP. John Boehner was the, apparently reluctant, spokesman for his base. Neither one of them offered a way out of this crisis, and the President’s speech has likely ceded even more ground to the hard-right in the GOP. More importantly, though, neither the President nor the Speaker did little but further politicize this debate, which guarantees that neither side is going to give in, and we’re all going to pay for it in the end.

Photo via The New York Times

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    With all due respect… THERE WOULD NOT BE A CRISIS IF NOT FOR GOP INTRANSIGENCE.

    Period.

    Full Stop.

    This has historically been a procedural vote. The GOP is making it more. The Dems have given up HUGE concessions.

    Period.

    Full Stop.

    Both sides are NOT equally at fault. Only one group is at fault for this crisis. The GOP.

    Period.

    Full Stop.

  2. @EddieInCA: a

    Even the ratings agencies have said that a “clean” debt ceiling increase without some kind of plan to address the debt situation would not be sufficient to aver ta credit downgrade. So, no, this isn’t just a procedural vote.

    As for the rest of it, I’ve said more than once in my posts here that I though the GOP’s no-taxes pledge was idiotic, but that’s irrelevant at this point. Now that the Reid plan is out the debate on tax increases of any kind as part of a deal is over.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today,” Boehner said. “That is just not going to happen.”

    And who writes the check??? Oh yeah, CONGRESS. The President, no matter WHAT party he is in, is never given a blank check. What hope do we have for an electorate that understands how our gov’t works, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives doesn’t????

    Maybe I can help:

    Dear Representative Boehner,

    You and your Congress wrote the check some months ago when you passed the budget. President Obama signed that check. Now please put the money into the account before the check bounces.

    Sincerely,
    OzarkHillbilly

    PS: I know President Obama was being severely irresponsible by signing the check you gave him when he could not know if there were going to be funds available to cover it but what is done is done. Now is your chance to be the big man and save the world economy from his total lack of foresight.

    PSS: Also could you please be sure to put enough money into the account to cover the next check you write out which he is almost sure to sign? You just know he would be that stupid a second time.

  4. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Now that the Reid plan is out the debate on tax increases of any kind as part of a deal is over.

    Um… Doug… The GOP, will not even support a bill that has no revenue increases.

    They will not agree to any deal that doesn’t humiliate the President.

    Both sides are NOT equally at fault.

  5. mike says:

    this is not good no matter your political persuasion. Someone needs to give b/c come 2 August there are going to be some tough decisions that have to be made and maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it is time for Congress and the president to put their big boy pants on and act like adults and stop talking past each other and peacocking for the cameras. I just know that I am tired of socking away money and investing what I can only to have to worry about how my investments will do b/c of such airbag in DC w/ an agenda.

  6. @EddieInCA:

    The Democrats in Congress are the ones who told Obama a week ago that they wouldn’t support a deal that touched entitlements. They have their own sacred cows.

    Also, “at fault” is a relative term. The GOP has stuck to a position and the President has spent a month conceding ground. If they have in fact won the tax debate then Obama has nobody to blame but himself, because he is not coming across as a good negotiator.

  7. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The GOP has stuck to a position…

    You’re delusional. What’s the GOP position?

    Tell me, please.

    Their own caucus can’t formulate a plan they can coalesce around, yet you’re saying they have stuck to a position?

    Maybe you should read this: https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/division-over-debt-ceiling-deal-continues-in-house-gop-caucus/

  8. hey norm says:

    Boehner’s debt ceiling plan “could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3548
    According to Erin Burnett, the incredibly attractive knowledgable Wall Street reporter on CNN, Boehner’s plan may not prevent a downgrade of the AAA rating…because it is only a short-term solution specifically designed to make us go through this again in 6-9 months…so it may very well lead to interest rate increases and more deficit spending.
    Boehner’s plan is a sham. We are seeing a man lose his job because of his inability to manage his caucus. It’s not a good thing for a man to lose control of his caucus.
    Reid’s plan is a total capitulation to the so-called Republicans. It gives them everything they once said they wanted. But they are unable to say yes. They want a Balanced Budget Amendment – which is tantamount to saying that they want a Unicorn.

  9. @EddieInCA:

    Yes, they have a position. You may find it to be wrong and I may consider it unwise but it is a position. They’ve stuck to it. And the President keeps backing away, which the GOP is interpreting as a sign of weakness on his part.

  10. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What’s the GOP position? I’m not being obtuse. But I’m genuinely curious as to what you think it is?

  11. hey norm says:

    @ Eddie…
    The GOP position is opposition to anything Obama supports. Doug is right – nothing about that has changed since Jan 20, 2009.
    Other than that general point I think Doug is confused.
    The Reid plan gives them everything they once said they wanted.
    But since then they have decided they want a Unicorn Balanced Budget Amendment.
    And as pointed out on another thread on this site…Boehner’s plan may not even be able to get out of the House. Ipso Facto they don’t really have a plan. Or a position.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What’s the GOP position? I’m not being obtuse. But I’m genuinely curious as to what you think it is?

    They are against what ever Obama is for, Eddie. Duuuuhhhhhh…..

  13. @hey norm:

    50% of the “spending cuts” in the Reid plan are presumed savings from projections of what the future costs of the war in Afghanistan and the end of the US deployment in Iraq. Many fiscal hawks, myself included, consider that phony accounting because its merely a cut in projected spending, and because there’s no guarantee policy will actually change.

    But, you’re right, the Reid plan has conceded the ground on taxes, which is my original point.

  14. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Many fiscal hawks, myself included, consider that phony accounting because its merely a cut in projected spending, and because there’s no guarantee policy will actually change.

    In James’ “leadership” thread I talk about path dependent politics.

    The thing about a projected cut in war spending is that it helps define a new path.

    It is not at all the same as an assumption of continued war spending.

  15. hey norm says:

    @ Doug…
    You can call it phony if you want but it’s also in the Ryan plan – which everyone called “courageous” and “serious”.
    I fail to see how it’s phony. There is no guarantee anything will ever actually change…or that it won’t. The ACA is phony because there is no guarantee that future Congresses will or won’t change things. But Ryan’s plan is “serious” – even though there’s no guarantee that future Congresses will or won’t change things.
    You want it both ways.

  16. hey norm says:

    And Oh-by-the-way – where were all you fiscal hawks during the run-up to the Iraq war, or when Bush was ignoring Afghanistan instead of finishing the job?
    I can tell you where Boehner was – he was busy voting to spend all this friggin’ money without ever questioning it.

  17. john personna says:

    @hey norm:

    where were all you fiscal hawks during the run-up to the Iraq war, or when Bush was ignoring Afghanistan instead of finishing the job?

    I remember explaining here that the wars were not being paid for at all from current receipts, and were 100% financed. There were certainly defenders here who wouldn’t believe that. They claimed (I remember this now) that even though the war cost was additive, the debt came equally from everything. That is, you added a war and cut tax, but the existing welfare programs were equally responsible for new debt.

  18. WR says:

    @hey norm: It’s phony if a Democrat says it. It’s courageous if a Republican says it. And both sides are equally at fault.

    There, I’ve just written Doug’s next twenty posts.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That is, you added a war and cut tax, but the existing welfare programs were equally responsible for new debt. Now that is “phony accounting.”

  20. Rob in CT says:

    Doug,

    You said this in a prior thread:

    Meanwhile, Harry Reid’s plan reportedly includes $ 2.7 trillion in spending cuts, but at least $1 trillion of that is actually projected future savings from ending the war in Afghanistana and the American deployment in Iraq, exactly the kind of accounting gimmick that fiscal conservatives have rightfully condemned in the past.

    Two questions: 1) Didn’t the Ryan plan do the same thing? Was Ryan lambasted by Conservatives for that? 2) Is it necessarily phoney to assume that those wars will, in fact, cease at some point? Or is ForeverWar the appropriate baseline?

  21. mantis says:

    Yes, they have a position. You may find it to be wrong and I may consider it unwise but it is a position. They’ve stuck to it. And the President keeps backing away, which the GOP is interpreting as a sign of weakness on his part.

    The president doesn’t want economic destruction. The GOP does. Those are their positions.

  22. mantis says:

    Even the ratings agencies have said that a “clean” debt ceiling increase without some kind of plan to address the debt situation would not be sufficient to aver ta credit downgrade. So, no, this isn’t just a procedural vote.

    Raising the debt ceiling would avoid a downgrade next week. We don’t have to manage all our finances for the next few decades this week. So yes, it certainly can be a procedural vote, but Republicans want to burn the place down instead.

  23. mantis says:

    @Rob in CT:

    1) Didn’t the Ryan plan do the same thing?

    Yes.

    Was Ryan lambasted by Conservatives for that?

    No. They licked his boots for it.

  24. James says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Even the ratings agencies have said that a “clean” debt ceiling increase without some kind of plan to address the debt situation would not be sufficient to aver ta credit downgrade.

    S&P did not start threatening to downgrade our credit rating without a long-term debt plan until July 18th, because of, in their words

    events presenting significant uncertainty to the creditworthiness of an issuer.

    The Republican party is directly responsible for this uncertainty, by unilaterally using the threat of default to extract maximum policy concessions. To say otherwise is simply obscuring facts to fit a partisan narrative .

  25. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “he is not coming across as a good negotiator. ”

    No, he’s not. But when he gets re-elected, he’ll have a few chits to cash in.

  26. george says:

    And Oh-by-the-way – where were all you fiscal hawks during the run-up to the Iraq war, or when Bush was ignoring Afghanistan instead of finishing the job?
    I can tell you where Boehner was – he was busy voting to spend all this friggin’ money without ever questioning it.

    And this is exactly what makes it almost impossible to take Boehner seriously – its a political game for him rather than anything to do with conservative principles. He showed his fiscal conservative beliefs (or lack thereof) when the war spending question came up.

  27. hey norm says:

    @ george…
    “…He showed his fiscal conservative beliefs (or lack thereof) when the war spending question came up…”
    Did the question even ever come up?

  28. Steve Verdon says:

    Eddied in CA,

    Both sides are NOT equally at fault.

    Doug did not say this.

    Only one group is at fault for this crisis.

    I’m sorry, this isn’t true at all. Neither side will accept the others position 100%. For there to be an impasse in negotiations, both sides have to not agree to some sort of deal. Granted, I think Obama has been more reasonable/accommodating. However, as Doug points out this could be seen as a sign of weakness that emboldens the Republicans to keep asking for more and more to see how much they can get. Is it wise or good policy? Probably not, but that’s democracy for you.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    However, as Doug points out this could be seen as a sign of weakness that emboldens the Republicans to keep asking for more

    I have to take exception with Dougs assigning of blame to the President here in this way as it really makes no sense at all. If Obama had shown no willingness to compromise, what we would have had then is a deadlock between 2 no compromise positions. Then you would be blaming Obama for the crises….

    Ohhhhhhh, wait a minute, heads Doug wins, tails Obama loses. Verllly clevah these chinese...

  30. Rob in CT says:

    Seriously, Doug. You’re so attached to “a pox on both their houses” that if Obama HAD drawn a line in the sand – if he HAD actually stood up to the GOP, you would be writing posts about how yeah the GOP position was unreasonable but Obama is refusing to compromise so he’s to blame too…

    Now he basically caves (par for the course, sadly, which is what I predicted last week) and you criticize him for that instead. Heh.

    For what it’s worth, I agree he is enabling the crazy at this point.

  31. Wayne says:

    The claim that the savings from ending the war was in Ryan’s estimate of savings is false. He had it in “one” of his tables but it was not include in the savings total.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/paul-ryan-throws-all-over-reid-1-trillion-budget-gimmick

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for apology or even an admittance of being wrong from those who posted otherwise.

  32. jan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I thought this particular piece you wrote, analyzing Obama and Boehner’s speeches, last night was very fair, especially for it’s neutrality and absence of political bias. Consequently, it was a pleasure to read.

    In going around a myriad of sites, though, the ones giving their feedback about this same event, it’s amazing the dramatic contrast there was in how these speeches were individually processed: Left versus Right.

    The comments following these left/right sites are revealing as well, in being of one mind and usually full of vitriol to the opposing party. I have come to see such blogs and their comments as being representative political microcosms of what is going on in DC. And, in observing this similarity, it has become more understandable why such a huge gap exists between our governing parties, as there is rarely any elasticity of thought between either the progressives or the far right. People outside the beltway are just as entrenched in their positions as the ones inside the beltway. So, what you have are stand-offs, or an I win you lose type of mentality, only capable of producing favorable policy maneuvers appealing to one side of the political spectrum…. until the next election.

    In the meantime, there is a growing segment of people, IMO, who are finding each side uncomfortable and inhospitable. For, on the right you have rigid moral and social mandates depriving people of personal choices and lifestyles. And, on the far left you have a social justice and fairness ideology which is incrementally destructive in maintaining individual freedoms, racial neutrality and incentives for any real economic growth. In other words, the far right divides people by means of their religiosity, while the far left promotes wedge issues placing racial and class barriers between groups of people.

    Hence, you have more and more people moving into an “Independent” status in their voting patterns. They are looking for the best candidate espousing and supporting their values, rather than being a member of a closed system of worthless party talking points. Consequently, I think there eventually will be a major political realignment producing a 3rd more moderated choice, sidelining one or the other of the current mainstream parties. It’s not there yet, but as the rancor between the far right and left continues, and the migration to the middle grows, there will be no choice remaining but to create a new, more viable party catering to more sensible outcomes than the current party hyperbole demands.

  33. Wayne says:

    A longer term deal would be better. However if that is not going to happen, which is better no deal or a short term deal?

    Many of the hang ups on a compromised deal is long term issues. They either can’t be agree on them or it would take time to hammer them out. Also in six months hopefully next year’s budget will have been done. That will be a good indicator on wither the Obama and the Democrats promises on cutting spending are worth anything. If not then some of the demands like a BBA may take a bigger focus.

    Republicans have given detail plans and even passed legislation on what they want. Democrats have not. If you don’t know the Republicans position is , you are not paying attention or you have blinders on.

  34. mantis says:

    However if that is not going to happen, which is better no deal or a short term deal?

    How about we just raise the debt ceiling and let the “deal” negotiations continue?

  35. Moosebreath says:

    “How about we just raise the debt ceiling and let the “deal” negotiations continue? ”

    Only if we pay no Danegeld for the right to keep negotiating.

    Slightly more seriously, the only way I see this ending at all well is if at least 25 Republican House members and 7 Republican Senate members decide that they don’t want to be driven off a cliff, and agree to something which can get nearly unanimous Democratic support. Even if it’s just a 60 day totally clean extension to allow continued negotiation.

  36. WR says:

    @jan: In Jan’s world, there are three parties: Evil Democrats, mean Republicans, and the wonderful independents, who agree with everything the Republicans say and even parrot talking points picked up from Rush, but add just that soupcon of self-righteousness at being above the fray.

  37. Rob in CT says:

    Wayne,

    Ok, then. It appears I was misled.

    Fine. Let’s ignore that part of Reid’s plan. There’s still $1.2T in spending reduction in there, isn’t there? No tax increases.

    What’s the problem with this, exactly, from your PoV?

  38. Steve Verdon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Really living up to your username I see.

    Here is the dynamic: Obama has compromised alot in his presidency. Hell he couldn’t take the lead on health care reform. Left it up to Congress for the most part. So now when he negotiates he keeps backing up a bit here, a bit there. Why shouldn’t Republicans think, “How far will he back up? How much can we get?” We are still 1 week away from the deadline, so the Republicans might be thinking, “We still have time to see if we can’t get more.”

    Is it dangerous? Sure. Because if Obama decides that he can’t show that level of accommodation to the Republicans for fear of looking weak then we might miss the August 2 deadline.

    Is it all Obama’s fault? Certainly not. In fact, I’d say that the Republicans greed is probably worse. They are quite willing to risk the economic health of this country, which is already precarious IMO, for political gains. Obama has been willing to give ground, but that have been a mistake. But to pretend like this is all the fault of Republicans like Eddie in CA is claiming is silly.

  39. Rob in CT says:

    Jan – it’s a nice dream to imagine a time when all the sensible, moderate folks get together, form a party, and beat back the more extreme elements of Left and Right, and just do what’s best for the country (this assumes, of course, that whatever policies this new moderate party would produce would actually BE best for the country, but let’s let that go). I used to wish for such a thing. I used to wish we could just put aside those ridiculous wedge issues and focus on what’s best for the country in general.

    I’ve decided it’s a childish fantasy. Is there any precedent for this in US politics? The last time a new party became a major player in US politics for more than 1 election was the Republican Party in the 1850s, which was due to the demise of the Whigs (more “moderate” in those times than original GOP, that’s for sure). The Democrats and Republicans have constructed serious barriers to entry to prevent any real challenge to their duopoly. Well that and the fact that we have a first-past-the-post system which by its nature encourages 2 major parties, rather than 3+

    The better solution, IMO, is to stick with one of the two major parties and become more active within them. Hence my decision to switch from Indy to Dem. It wasn’t to proclaim my love of the Dems. It was to attempt to influence them.

    You should do the same, IMO. Go with the GOP if you like, and fight the good fight against their religionista nonsense. I’ll do my best to oppose the nuttier things that bubble up from the Left. That, IMO, is the way forward. It’s not pretty and it’s not easy, but it’s viable, IMO.

  40. Wayne says:

    @Rob
    I haven’t heard the details yet so I’m not sure what or even if I have a problem with much of it.
    From what I know right now these are possible issues. 1.2 trillion over 10 year is only 120 billion per year when the current deficit is projected at over 1.65 trillion “per year”, so the number is a bit low. I like to see at least double of that to be cut out next year budget. Understanding that it is only the start of future cuts to be look at for outlining years.

    Also I am suspicious that the Democrats are attempting to use smoke and mirrors once again. So the details of those cuts are important. I.e. if they are only promising future cuts years down the road or only cuts to the military.

    However like I said, I’m willing to take at look at it and if it fits certain criteria then I would be willing to support it.

    Back at you. If you support Reid plan and it is very similar to the GOP planned then what is your problem with supporting the GOP plan?

  41. jan says:

    @Wayne:

    If you support Reid plan and it is very similar to the GOP planned then what is your problem with supporting the GOP plan?

    That’s an easy one — because it’s Boehner’s Plan and not Reid’s Plan. It mostly has to do with the letters after each politician’s name. Switch the letters and he might be supporting Boehner instead of Reid.

  42. jan says:

    @Rob in CT:

    it’s a nice dream to imagine a time when all the sensible, moderate folks get together, form a party, and beat back the more extreme elements of Left and Right, and just do what’s best for the country (this assumes, of course, that whatever policies this new moderate party would produce would actually BE best for the country, but let’s let that go). I used to wish for such a thing. I used to wish we could just put aside those ridiculous wedge issues and focus on what’s best for the country in general…..

    I have to commend you on the above post — all of it. It wasn’t testy, like mine was, posted @ 16:59. It was a conversation and not a rant. So, thanks….

    Anyway, I just have too many dissimilarities with the R party, socially, just as I do with the D party fiscally. It wouldn’t work out to join the R’s and then have to go through endless reasons why they should lighten up on some of their expectations of the society around them. And, basically, I don’t like telling people how to live their life anyway, just as much as I don’t like them telling me how to live mine! I’m just getting tired of party doctrines and demagogy, in general. The narrowness of views are stifling, IMO. You can’t have a discussion of opposing ideals without someone saying — “prove it!” calling people names, liars and whatever

    Anyway, I appreciated the brief interlude of pleasantries that were extended in that last post of your’s… and apologize for any sarcasm derived in my response to Wayne.

  43. jan says:

    @WR:

    In Jan’s world, there are three parties: Evil Democrats, mean Republicans, and the wonderful independents, who agree with everything the Republicans say and even parrot talking points picked up from Rush, but add just that soupcon of self-righteousness at being above the fray.

    …..and this is how it goes, the merry-go-round of political sniping.

    BTW, I don’t listen to Rush, and only have access to cable news about 10 days of every month. My views are formed from tons of reading, personal experiences, one-to-one conversations and just who I am as a person.

  44. jukeboxgrad says:

    wayne:

    The claim that the savings from ending the war was in Ryan’s estimate of savings is false. He had it in “one” of his tables but it was not include in the savings total.

    Something doesn’t add up here. Larry Kudlow confronted Cantor on this point, and Cantor admitted it’s true. The video is here. Why are Kudlow and Cantor both wrong?

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steve Verdon: As usual Steve, you are way too partisan to see how rigged the game is. Doug phrased the question such that Obama was going to be at fault no matter what.

    Really living up to your username I see.

    We would have to come up with a whole new user name for you live up to. (leave your insults at the door and try to engage in intelligent conversation)(I know you can, you are far smarter than me and I learn so much from you)

    Is it all Obama’s fault? Certainly not. In fact, I’d say that the Republicans greed is probably worse. They are quite willing to risk the economic health of this country, which is already precarious IMO, for political gains. Obama has been willing to give ground, but that have been a mistake. But to pretend like this is all the fault of Republicans like Eddie in CA is claiming is silly.

    All the way to the last sentence I am with you Steve. And then you go off the tracks.

    #1: Where did I say it is all Republicans fault?

    #2: I refer you to your own statement preceding the last sentence .

    #3: Just read what I quoted of your own words above. Steve, it is time you actually listened to yourself, because according to you, somehow or other, the Republicans intransigence is Obama’s fault, even tho it isn’t….

    JJ just had a post here earlier about Pam Geller that…. ooooohhhhhh never mind. I have to go to work tomorrow and cook tonite.

    Sleep well Steve, I won’t (because I never do)

  46. Wayne says:

    Let go to the horse’s mouth.

    “Rather than defend this gimmick on the merits, supporters of the Reid plan are defending it by claiming that House Republicans “also included” this $1 trillion in savings when calculating spending reductions in the budget resolution that passed the House last April. This claim is false. The House-passed budget cuts $6.2 trillion in spending relative to President Obama’s FY2012 budget request, and this spending reduction assumes ZERO savings from the global war on terror relative to the President’s budget.”

    http://budget.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=253640

    Why did Cantor say what he did? It could be one of several reasons. One he is wrong or he slipped up in the heat of debate. It also could be that people are talking apples and oranges. Ryan’s plan is a pretty detailed plan with many supporting documentations. As said earler it is “technically” in the plan since it is present in a table. Perhaps it is even used in the “baseline”. However that is far from saying it is part of the $6.2 trillion in cuts that was claimed by Ryan.

    Remember the contexts of the conversations have been the comparison of Reid’s $2.7 trillion cuts claim to Ryan’s $6.2 trillion in cuts claim. Trying to change that to “well technically it is in the plan since it is present in a table” or in some “other” calculations that is in the plan while not being part of the $6.2 trillion would be total B.S.

    If someone could point to me a government site that shows that the 1.* trillion dollars war savings was included in the $6.2 trillion cuts please do so. I would be interested.

  47. Wayne says:

    Here is another relevant part of the link. It is probably more accurate than a quick heated exchange on t.v. by someone that didn’t write the plan.

    “For instance, Table S-4 of the House-passed budget provides two savings estimates. The first estimate compares the House-passed budget to the “current law” baseline used by the Congressional Budget Office [CBO], even though House Budget Committee Republicans have consistently noted that the CBO current-law baseline is not the most reasonable budget baseline with which to compare future-year budget plans. For example, the current-law baseline assumes a $3.5 trillion across-the-board tax increase in 2013, as well as a continuation of spending for the global war on terror at its current level for the rest of the decade, with upward adjustments for inflation. The CBO has noted that these policy outcomes are unlikely, which is why it has also constructed an “alternative fiscal scenario” baseline that assumes more realistic outcomes.
    In order to provide a more relevant comparison, House Budget Committee Republicans provided a second estimate in Table S-4, comparing the House-passed budget to President Obama’s FY 2012 budget request. This comparison makes clear that, even with no savings attributed to the troop drawdown and with identical numbers to the President’s on the war on terror, the House-passed budget cuts spending by $6.2 trillion relative to the President’s request. “

    http://budget.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=253640

  48. Rob in CT says:

    @Wayne:

    Wayne – I don’t like Reid’s plan at all. I consider it a total cave by the Dems. But I expected that (I said so last week), so all I can really muster is sad resignation.

    I think it’s a crappy deal. Part of me is happy the GOP rejected it. Part of me isn’t, because I worry about the consequences of getting into August w/o a deal, even a crappy deal.

  49. Wayne says:

    @Rob

    At least you have some sort of consistency then.