After President Obama urged Americans last night to call their member of Congress, the capitol switchboard has been flooded with calls: The Capitol switchboard was on the verge of being overloaded with calls from across the country Tuesday morning after President Obama called on Americans in an address to the nation Monday evening to contact their members of Congress about the high-stakes debt battle playing out in Washington. “Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally gett
One of the oddities of the Obama-Boehner negotiation/showdown is that Obama has vastly more strategic latitude than Boehner. Obama can cut almost any deal he wants. He can probably persuade Democrats in Congress to go along with an outrageously bad deal. He could sign a deal that passes with mostly Republican votes. Boehner can't do those things. He got his job as Speaker by default. He is the picture of the Washington insider and the apotheosis of the kind of Republican conservative activists loath and suspect of selling them out.
When John Boehner walked away from a Grand Bargain for the second time last weekend, he claimed he did so because the White House 'demanded" more revenue: [T]he White House moved the goalpost. There was an agreement, some additional revenues, until yesterday when the president demanded $400 billion more which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people. Republicans have hammered this point home. The Obama administration has strongly disputed this characterization.
Jay Newton-Small handicaps some possibilities for the debt ceiling standoff. She ends on this persuasively pessimistic note: With so few viable options, it’s not hard to imagine that the deadline is missed and the ensuing panic forces Congress to enact some combination of 1-4. Or they go right up to the brink and some combination of 1-4 happens. As Doc Brown from Back to the Future said, “Road? Where we’re going there are no roads.” She actually gets the quote wrong. It's, "Roads?
When David Brooks had his Lisa Simpson moment denouncing Republicans as extremists for rejecting President Obama's deficit deal, I predicted that he would soon revert to the posture of even handedness, sadly laying blame upon both sides with an emphasis on Democratic culpability. Today's column actually fulfills that prediction sooner than I expected. Brooks today describes three reasons the Grand Bargain died: First, it was always going to be difficult to round up the necessary Congressional votes. Republicans didn’t want the tax increases.
President Obama has a credibility problem. He has compromised so often that Republicans simply don't believe that he'll sustain his opposition to anything, as this exchange attests: Rep.
President Obama's speech was, in some ways, a reboot of the entire debate. He broadened the frame of the deficit issue so as to contextualize the trillion dollar deficit he inherited.
-- From Ezra Klein: Obama and Bush deficit contribution, side-by-side on a single graph -- Grover Norquist boldly claims that "this plan is good for taxpayers, children and other living things.” -- Politico writes an anonymously-sourced story decrying anonymous sources -- The founder of Home Depot says that Obama "would[n't] understand anything that I'd say" in a conversation about the economy -- James Surowieki at The New Yorker argues persuasively for an end to the debt ceiling -- NASCAR pastor to his flock: "Boogity, boogity, boogity, Amen." -- Which party is in really in thrall to the med
Bob Greenstein lays out just how radical John Boehner's debt ceiling plan is: The Boehner plan calls for large cuts in discretionary programs of $1.2 trillion over the next ten years, and it then requires additional cuts that are large enough to produce another $1.8 trillion in savings to be enacted by the end of the year as a condition for raising the debt ceiling again at that time. The Boehner plan contains no tax increases.
In reference to my previous argument about how sheer partisan animus complicates any debt ceiling agreement, consider the sample case of Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post conservative blogger. Rubin is the paradigmatic case of a conservative whose positions on these issues is driven almost entirely by partisan heuristics. Today, for instance, she spits contempt upon Harry Reid's plan to pair a debt ceiling hike with $2.7 trillion in spending cuts and no revenue increases: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is devising a sham that will never pass muster in the House.