Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Obama Trying to Save the Republicans From Themselves

Remember when the Republicans inexplicably gave the house Democrats a massive boost by voting to destroy medicare?

Well the White House knows the house Republicans are hurting from that vote, but they want to cut medicare so desperately that they're willing to throw their party's massive politcal advantage under the bus to do so: (via Jon Walker)
Vice President Joe Biden attended Obama’s meetings with both Reid and McConnell, and Biden’s own work product — reflecting weeks of House-Senate budget negotiations — will be the foundation for any larger deal.

The immediate goal is to find upward of $2.4 trillion in 10-year savings and revenues to help offset what would be an almost equal increase in the federal debt ceiling to be voted prior to Aug. 2 — the deadline set by the Treasury Department.

Thus far, the Biden talks have identified an estimated $1.5 trillion to $1.7 trillion in spending reductions — two-thirds of the final goal. The challenge is to either close the gap with some mix of savings and revenues or retreat to settling for a shorter-term debt increase equal to the lesser savings figure.

For their part, Obama and Reid appear prepared to reach much higher, putting substantial Medicare savings on the table if Republicans would accept added revenues. With the House GOP leadership in New York, all of Monday’s White House maneuvering was Senate-centric. But Obama’s hope is that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), with whom he met privately last week, will be intrigued by a bolder package that might also help neutralize the Medicare issue now hurting the GOP among elderly voters.
Before the election I joked that Obama might have secretly wanted a GOP led house because he gets his rocks off to making deals with Republicans. Now it's not really a joke, and I think he enjoys making deals with them because they share a lot of the same priorities.

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