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July 11, 2011 3:25 PM Obama says GOP will have to ‘budge’

By Steve Benen

President Obama has made several recent briefing room statements on the debt-reduction talks, but this morning’s Q&A was a little more important than the others. More specifically, the president drew some lines he definitely hadn’t drawn before.

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Early on, Obama was asked if he expects Republicans to make concessions on taxes. He replied:

“I do not see a path to a deal if they don’t budge, period. I mean, if the basic proposition is ‘it’s my way or the highway,’ then we’re probably not going to get something done because we’ve got divided government. We’ve got Democrats controlling the Senate; we probably are going to need Democratic votes in the House for any package that could possibly pass.

“And so if, in fact, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are sincere — and I believe they are — that they don’t want to see the U.S. government default, then they’re going to have to compromise just like Democrats are going to have to compromise; just like I have shown myself willing to compromise.”

Later in the press conference, the president added, “I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which [the wealthiest taxpayers are] asked to do nothing.”

This was, as near as I can tell, the first time Obama has suggested that revenues are a prerequisite to any agreement. For Republicans who are committed to making no concessions whatsoever, the president’s willingness to draw a line in the sand, demanding that they compromise, was probably not welcome news.

What’s more, he ruled out a short-term extension, saying he would not sign one.

Obama went on to knock down the claim that he wants to increase revenue right away: “I want to be crystal clear — nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increases —increasing taxes next year…. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years. In fact, the only proposition that’s out there about raising taxes next year would be if we don’t renew the payroll tax cut that we passed in December, and I’m in favor of renewing it for next year as well. But there have been some Republicans who said we may not renew it.”

It was also at least somewhat reassuring to hear the president reject one of the key Republican talking points: “I am not somebody who believes that just because we solve the deficit and debt problems short term, medium term, or long term, that that automatically solves the unemployment problem.” Indeed, thanks to a very good question from Sam Stein, Obama spoke at some length about the benefits of the Recovery Act, and the focus on jobs.

Indeed, the president said he wants to resolve the debt issue so that policymakers can take the next step: “[W]ith some firm footing, with a solid fiscal situation, we will then be in a position to make the kind of investments that I think are going to be necessary to win the future.”

The president also tried to put GOP leaders on the spot: “I’ve been hearing from my Republican friends for quite some time that it is a moral imperative for us to tackle our debt and our deficits in a serious way. I’ve been hearing from them that this is one of the things that’s creating uncertainty and holding back investment on the part of the business community. And so what I’ve said to them is, ‘Let’s go.’”

As for Social Security, Obama said any changes would be applied to the system’s trust fund, not to deficit reduction. He reminded us that Social Security “is not the source of our deficit problems.”

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

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  • Josef K on July 11, 2011 3:40 PM:

    All well and good. Let's see if any of this gets us away from "default" and back onto surer ground.

    I'm still not convinced the GOP can or will deliver, but at least we now have some clue as to where the White House stands (for however long that lasts).

  • johnb. on July 11, 2011 3:40 PM:

    Nice cherry-picking from Obama's speech. Too bad there were so few cherries in it. He has just slapped his base in the face a d embraced every GOP talking point. Maybe Obama should enter the Iowa primary- - as a Republican.

  • HydroCabron on July 11, 2011 3:42 PM:

    This still looks like political theater to me - "let's all rant about how the other side won't budge and get it as close to the brink as possible so that we can claim we compromised to avoid utter disaster" - but I have never seen a Republican Party this crazy.

    Somebody please reassure me that the Galts who run this show will step in and explain to the GOP freshmen that posturing and chest-beating are just fine, but that certain wealthy men own a buttload of bonds.

  • Danp on July 11, 2011 3:43 PM:

    Key takeaway. Republicans don't want to budge on corporate jet depreciation schedules, but they are willing to offset that revenue with payroll taxes. Is this your daddy party or just Biff's?

  • anon on July 11, 2011 3:45 PM:

    Hmmm, Obama across rational and intelligent regardless of whether you agree with him.

  • Andy Olsen on July 11, 2011 3:46 PM:

    It is time to drop ALL extraneous measures and for the Senate to pass a simple raising of the debt ceiling. This will be a SHORT bill, which the GOP prizes.

    Send this bill to the House and call on them for an "up or down vote" on whether or not they want the USA to default on it's debt.

    Why the Dems go along with these games is a mystery. Like why President Obama uses the bully pulpit to say that the deficit is more urgent than the jobs crisis, and to espouse other voodoo economics. I guess he really does embrace these terrible economic theories, if we take him at his word. I don't!

  • KC on July 11, 2011 3:46 PM:

    I think our brave president did a wonderful job explaining the hard work he is doing. After all, as he made clear, this mess is the fault of Dems and Republicans, not him. He is willing to step out of his shell, they so far, are not.

    Good for him. Now, if the ceiling is not raised, the press can cover it as "Dems and Republicans Refuse to Agree; Cause Default."

    Our President, a strong and brave party leader.

  • Josef K on July 11, 2011 3:48 PM:

    Well said, johnb.

  • Stephen Stralka on July 11, 2011 3:48 PM:

    What a dick.

    Well, seriously though, what else can he do? He knows the odds are good the Republicans still won't budget on taxes, so like it or not it is all political theater at this point. The best we can hope for may be to get rid of the Republicans in 2012 and then try to salvage what's left of our economy.

    As an aside, I'm starting to wonder how many of those fabled 87 GOP freshman will serve more than one term. The way it looks right now, either they compromise and get booted in the primaries or stick to their guns and get booted in the general election.

  • walt on July 11, 2011 3:57 PM:

    I agree that Obama sounds sane and rational, a stark contrast to the ideological firebrands on the other side. Why, then, do I get the feeling he'll fold his hand at the last minute? Maybe it's because being sane and rational means paying the hostage takers. If that's the case, we're in a new day in American politics. The nihilists are in control.

    I want Obama to succeed because I want this country to survive and prosper. But we're telling lies left and right about what's really going on. The rich own this nation, and as a result, democracy is a sham. I'll admit some of this seems accidental (as opposed to conspiratorial) but the takeaway is the same. We can't do anything to save ourselves aside from what right-wing extremists deem correct. If they end up winning this deal, this nation has effectively ceased to exist as a functional balance between competing interests. Rather, we're something altogether different: a plutocracy on top with a theocracy below, and no buffers in between.

  • BrianTH on July 11, 2011 4:05 PM:

    Once again, it seems quite clear that Obama is using this as an opportunity to squeeze some more stimulus out of the House Republicans.

    Which also helps explain why he hasn't been pushing for a "clean" debt ceiling deal--that would be losing a major opportunity to get more stimulus.

  • T2 on July 11, 2011 4:08 PM:

    I think we'll need to see a 1000 point drop one of these days in the DOW for everyone to get focused. Quite a price to pay for listening to Palin and Bachmann and Pence and Cantor.

  • bigtuna on July 11, 2011 4:14 PM:

    I am selling a bunch of my investments asap...


    in regards to a simple vote on just debt extension. The house did that. Voted dow 318-97. I don't know the details, but I am almost certain it was rigged to go to defeat by Boner boy, the incredibly shrinking speaker ...

  • Ron Byers on July 11, 2011 4:16 PM:

    Too bad the entire 41 minutes won't make it to the general public. Instead we will get a cherry picked 14 seconds on Brian Williams show. Oh, Fox and MSNBC will cover it some, Rachel will explain it in great detail, but the general public won't even hear about Obama's comments.

    He was masterful. He put the Republicans in a box. He is playing his had as well as it can be played.

    My fear is that he is has given up on actually solving the problem, but is instead working to put the blame squarely on the Republicans.

  • Joe Friday on July 11, 2011 4:21 PM:

    A rather telling exchange from the presser:

    Rich Wolf: Thank you, Mr. President. You keep talking about balance, shared sacrifice, but in the $4 trillion deal that you're talking about roughly, it seems to be now at about four-to-one spending to taxes; we're talking about $800 billion in taxes, roughly. That doesn't seem very fair to some Democrats. I'm wondering if you could clarify why we're at that level.
    POTUS: With respect to a balanced package, is the package that we're talking about exactly what I would want? No. I might want more revenues and fewer cuts to programs that benefit middle-class families that are trying to send their kids to college, or benefit all of us because we're investing more in medical research.
    So I make no claims that somehow the position that Speaker Boehner and I discussed reflects 100 percent of what I want. But that's the point. My point is, is that I'm willing to move in their direction in order to get something done. And that's what compromise entails We have a system of government in which everybody has got to give a little bit.

    He entered the negotiations with about an 85/15 split, and now he's willing to move in their direction ???

  • zeitgeist on July 11, 2011 4:31 PM:

    Ron Byers said:

    My fear is that he is has given up on actually solving the problem, but is instead working to put the blame squarely on the Republicans.

    I really really hope you're correct. The problem cannot be solved without unacceptable rewards for Republican economic terrorism. Obama should have walked when Cantor did, blamed the whole mess on Republicans, and said this is what the 2012 elections will be about -- whether it was worth another depression just to avoid taxing corporate jets and second homes.

    and setting aside whether johnb is correct that Steve picked out the only cherries in the presser, and assuming that Obama actually did a good job and said wonderful things (I have not watched it), it only frustrates me more on my ongoing messaging mantra. Why? Because I have to ask who was watching at 11:00 am on a weekday?

    These answers need heard by the masses. If he is going to use the power of the Presidency to get attention and explain his position, why the hell not do it in prime time?


  • Joe Friday on July 11, 2011 4:33 PM:

    T2,

    "I think we'll need to see a 1000 point drop one of these days in the DOW for everyone to get focused."

    After the RightWingers blocked the TARP from being enacted, it took the smack-upside-the-head of the markets crashing for them to finally see the light and reverse their votes.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 4:33 PM:

    Not to be a jerk or anything but pretty much as I called it a month ago: the president and congressional dems played this one exactly like the republicans played HCR. They made a big public show of being ever so reasonable while behind the scenes running out the clock. The clock always worked to our advantage. Look forward to the republicans caving on revenue soon, or else default and the Village falling out of love with republicans fast...

  • zeitgeist on July 11, 2011 4:39 PM:

    or else default and the Village falling out of love with republicans fast...

    Default and there may not be a Village: not enough people will be able to afford to buy a newspaper or newsmagazine, and advertising revenues will be slashed for all media. Credit markets will freeze just like after Bear Stearns, so they wont be able to borrow to tie them over until the recession ends. The Village, who have largely given cover to the true insanity of the Right, may come to regret it once it is too late to change course.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 4:40 PM:

    @Joe Friday
    Well the devil is in the details, isnt it?

    If you found out the deal was 2 trillions in defense cuts and 1 trillion in "cuts" by lower medicare reimbursement rates for Advantage, would that be a bad outcome for democrats on account of there being more "cuts" than "revenue"?

    Suspend final judgement until you've seen the final deal.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 4:52 PM:

    We'll see.

    The republicans loaded the gun and pointed it at our collective head and demanded they get their way or else they'd blow us all away. Now they got to face the choice of either shooting themselves in the head to prove a point or else cave in the most public and humiliating way. They made their bed.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 4:53 PM:

    My previous comment @zeitgeist

  • Joe Friday on July 11, 2011 5:42 PM:

    Danny,

    "Suspend final judgement until you've seen the final deal."

    He entered the negotiations with an 85/15 offer, and now he wants to move even more towards the Republicans.

    I don't need to see the "final deal", for that matter, I don't even want to see the "final deal". Given the direction he's moving, I'd rather default.

  • exlibra on July 11, 2011 5:44 PM:

    For Republicans who are committed to making no concessions whatsoever, the presidentís willingness to draw a line in the sand, demanding that they compromise, was probably not welcome news. -- Steve Benen

    Really? Why? Lines drawn in the sand are as permanent as castles built on sand; the least puff of a wind will erase them. Lines that a child draws, with chalk on pavement, for her hopscotch game are longer lasting than lines drawn in sand.

    "urbotN Critique" Yeah, but I'm a rural, not urban bot; I'll critique all I want.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 9:09 PM:

    @Joe

    The 85-15% breakdown is simplistic stuff offered either by friendly progressives (like Steve) overselling the "Obama reasonable, republicans unreasonable" pitch or by firebaggers (like Jane H).

    E.g. offering cutting defense spending is not caving to republicans but rather the opposite. Cutting medicare spending by paying providers less for the same benefit is not a republican policy objective; it's a progressive policy objective.

  • Joe Friday on July 11, 2011 10:06 PM:

    Danny,

    "The 85-15% breakdown is simplistic stuff offered either by friendly progressives (like Steve) overselling the 'Obama reasonable, republicans unreasonable' pitch or by firebaggers (like Jane H)."

    Nope.

    Reread my post upthread from the presser. The reporter stated:

    "in the $4 trillion deal that you're talking about roughly, it seems to be now at about four-to-one spending to taxes; we're talking about $800 billion in taxes, roughly."

    Did Obama deny that was the deal he proposed ? To the contrary, he acknowledged it.

  • Danny on July 11, 2011 10:25 PM:

    @Joe

    Let's first take note that a four-to-one breakdown would mean 80-20%, not 85-15%. If the reporting is solid.

    Anyhow, that's all beside the point which you seem intent on ignoring.

    What's "simplistic" is the notion that progressives are supposed to be against "cuts" and for "taxes". That's not the case.

    Progressives have traditionally been for cuts in defence spending. We are for cutting costs by paying private enterprises less for benefits.

    Likewise, progressives are not "for more taxes" but rather for lower taxes on the poor and middle class and higher taxes on the rich. E.g. "progressive taxation".

    So a revenue/cut breakdown is in fact a simplistic way to judge how attractive a deal is for the republican or democratic base. We also have to look at what cuts and what spending.

    Cutting defense spending and medicare reimbursements is not "caving" - it's doing what we wanted to do all along. So you should wait for the deal.

  • Kansas City on July 11, 2011 10:47 PM:

    Steve's favorable comment on President Obama's answer to the Stein question is interesting. The answer is being mocked on the Drudge Report for claiming the loss of government jobs in recent months is proof that the stimilus worked. I guess it is just another example of how politically biased people see everything through biased filters.

    Drudge and company seem to have a point. Sure, borrowing money to pay state salaries will work short term, but if the jobs are now disappearing, it is evidence of failure, not success, of the stimilus revitalizaing the economy.

    Obama did conclude his answer with a funny comment about Stein not having "juice" with republicans. The whole budget negotiaion dance is very interesting from the perspective that Obams is calculating his stance primarily to enhance his re-relectoin prospects and most republicans are probably trying to structure things to help beat him. Too bad for the country, but a natural consequence, I suppose, of free election.

  • Kansas City on July 11, 2011 11:04 PM:

    The comment about lost jobs being evidence of stimulus success was actually mocked at Real Clear Politics (not the Drudge Report):

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/11/obama_public_sector_job_losses_are_evidence_that_stimulus_worked.html

  • Lee A. Arnold on July 11, 2011 11:42 PM:

    Either way it happens, it looks like the end of the Republican Party. When the Tea Bags lose money because of default, they'll freak out along with everybody else. But on the other hand, if the Republicans capitulate, then they lose "debt" as a campaign issue, and in addition people learn that small tax hikes don't hurt longterm growth.

    Real facts: (1) Go'vt spending on non-market necessities cannot hurt the market economy. (2) Tax cuts aren't the only thing that causes economic growth. (3) Rich people don't create most of the jobs -- most jobs are created by little people with a good idea and access to credit (and healthcare). http://www.youtube.com/user/leearnold#p/c/8AC650E4705BC0D1/0/SA1f2MefsMM

  • Schtick on July 11, 2011 11:44 PM:

    Might as well have a republican as president after 2012 if we have a DINO gutting SS and Medicare like the repubs want. I've sent emails to our elected dems in NY that I'm voting for a real republican for President in 2012 and I'm gonna vote against every dem that votes with Obama on SS and Medicare cuts.
    I was decent. I didn't add what I really wanted to say. That as long as I'm gonna get screwed by repub policies it might as well be a real repub screwing me and not a limp dick dem. Maybe I should have said that.

  • Joe Friday on July 12, 2011 2:21 AM:

    Danny,

    "Let's first take note that a four-to-one breakdown would mean 80-20%, not 85-15%."

    Ah, the dude said "roughly" about three times, plus first he said four-to-one and then $800 billion out of $4 trillion. His math, not mine. Take it up with him.

    More importantly, Obama acknowledged it was indeed 'ROUGHLY' the deal he presented.


    "So a revenue/cut breakdown is in fact a simplistic way to judge how attractive a deal is"

    Not at all.

    Not when the vast overwhelming majority of the deficits and debt are as a result of the numerous rounds of tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

  • Joe Friday on July 12, 2011 2:25 AM:

    Kansas City,

    "Drudge and company seem to have a point. Sure, borrowing money to pay state salaries will work short term, but if the jobs are now disappearing, it is evidence of failure, not success, of the stimilus revitalizaing the economy."

    Only if one doesn't comprehend the definition of stimulus.

    A stimulus is not supposed to provide long-term job growth, it is only supposed to kick start job creation. In that regard, the stimulus was a smashing success.

    No accounting for the ignorance of Dredge et all.

  • Danny on July 12, 2011 5:51 AM:

    @Joe

    800B$ out of 4 trillion is a 20-80% breakdown. What "dude" are you talking about?

    Not when the vast overwhelming majority of the deficits and debt are as a result of the numerous rounds of tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

    A little more than half of our present troubles was indeed caused by the Bush tax cuts. But not all Bush tax cuts went to the "rich" (as defined by Obama, e.g. 250k$/yr and above). So you're overstating the case. But it's really the Public Option fallacy once again. Taxes are not an end in itself and neither is higher taxes the only policy progressives are fighting for.

    Cutting defense spending and paying medicare providers lower reimbursement rates are progressive policies and always has been. Offering them in a debt reduction negotiation is not caving. You keep ignoring that, because fact is you're not interested in making a fair judgement, you're interested in critizing the president, right or wrong.

  • BrianTH on July 12, 2011 7:59 AM:

    Keep in mind as well that any spending cuts--or for that matter tax increases--scheduled beyond this Congress are not written in stone. So if Obama can get this Congress to approve additional stimulus in the short run in exchange for deficit reductions in the long run, he will have achieved a lot of good for the economy, and the exact size and nature of the future deficit reductions can be revisited in future Congresses.

  • Danny on July 12, 2011 8:24 AM:

    @BrianTH

    Good point!

    We have to keep in mind that pretty much no-one is against long term deficit reduction. (The makeup of deficit reducing measures is a point of contention, of course).

    What progressives are strongly against is draconian cuts, now. That would indeed hurt the economy.

    Look for republicans to want to frontload the plan and the president and congressional dems to want the opposite. We'll see who wins out...

  • BrianTH on July 12, 2011 8:37 AM:

    The good news is that the House Republicans seem much more concerned with saving face over their revenue pledges than with preventing additional stimulus. That creates potential room for a deal--in fact, to the extent the Republicans are helped out in terms of total balance on the revenue side with short-term tax cuts, that is just more stimulus.

  • Joe Friday on July 12, 2011 10:43 AM:

    Danny,

    "What 'dude' are you talking about?"

    The reporter who asked Obama the question. Obviously you didn't read my post upthread as I suggested.

    "A little more than half of our present troubles was indeed caused by the Bush tax cuts."

    The independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office disagrees with you.


    "So you're overstating the case."

    Argue with the CBO.


    "...fact is you're not interested in making a fair judgement, you're interested in critizing the president, right or wrong."

    Nonsense.

    Your unsubstantiated accusations are silly.

  • Danny on July 12, 2011 11:31 AM:

    @Joe

    No I didn't read your post, as I am generally not prone to read through the full oevre of every blog commenter with an opinion; not until they've shown their worth and ability to read for comprehension.

    Reading through the exchange between Rick Wolf and the President that you quoted then it is crystal clear that:

    1) Neither of them said anything about a 85-15 split. Wolf said "four to one" which sounds like 75-25 to me but plausibly 80-20. Then he said 800B$ and out of 4 trillion thats a 80-20 split so the 85-15 figure is once again incorrect going strictly by Wolfs claims.

    2) The President very clearly chose to not respond in any way whatsoever to Wolfs claims of what had been offered. He didnt comment on figures or breakdowns. He was unresponsive. The reason that he didnt respond is that he didnt want to go on the record on what he offered or didnt offer. And that shouldnt be very surprising if you think about it for a minute.

    The independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office disagrees with you [...] Argue with the CBO.

    Here's a chart I'm sure you'll recognize:

    http://asiansecurityblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/debt-graph.png?w=530&h=547

    It's from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and republished by Steve here, buy Kevin Drum, by Ezra Klein and by Andrew Sullivan. It shows the drivers of the federal deficit.

    It does indeed show that I'm wrong. The Bush tax cuts, revenue loss because of the recession and the recovery measures caused about equal parts of this years deficit so the tax cuts did not make up a majority of the present deficit. But arguably Bush era policies did cause the majority of the present deficit.

    Anyhow, you were most likely even more wrong than I was. But it's not exactly clear since you refuse to say exactly what the CBO is supposed to have said.

    Anyhow, by the chart the Bush tax cuts will make up about ~0.6 T$ of a ~1.2T$ deficit in 2019 so I'd still say I was being fairly accurate. More accurate than you.

    The other point I made that you blatantly chose to ignore was this: Not all Bush tax cuts went to the "rich" - as defined by Obama, e.g. 250k$/yr and above. So we wont get rid of all the orange in the chart by revoking the tax cuts only on "the rich" unless we bring rates up to a higher level than under Clinton. (I'd be fine with that.)

    And wrapping up, you didnt respond to this at all: Cutting defense spending and paying medicare providers lower reimbursement rates are progressive policies and always has been. Offering them in a debt reduction negotiation is not caving. You keep ignoring that, because fact is you're not interested in making a fair judgement, you're interested in critizing the president, right or wrong.

  • Joe Friday on July 12, 2011 1:15 PM:

    Danny,

    "No I didn't read your post, as I am generally not prone to read through the full oevre of every blog commenter with an opinion; not until they've shown their worth and ability to read for comprehension."

    OH BROTHER.

    PLEASE refrain from reading any of my future posts then.


    "Neither of them said anything about a 85-15 split."

    And I never claimed either did. The reference was to my earlier comment that Obama had previously come into the negotiations with the well reported ~85/15 split.

    Do try and keep up.


    "The President very clearly chose to not respond in any way whatsoever to Wolfs claims of what had been offered."

    He did not deny it or disown it as he did so many other references during the presser.


    "Anyhow, you were most likely even more wrong than I was."

    The CBO disagrees.


    "...fact is you're not interested in making a fair judgement, you're interested in critizing the president, right or wrong."

    Once again, nothing but a silly unsubstantiated accusation.

  • Danny on July 12, 2011 5:09 PM:

    @Joe

    Chill. My point was that you cant just assume that everyone will study your posts closely enough to intuitively grasp what you mean when you talk about what the "dude" said and referring to your previous post. You could be talking about the Big Lebovski for all I care.

    Once again about the breakdown of revenue vs cuts: there are two issues here.

    1) The reporting on the breakdown is not reliable and the actual reported breakdown varies. As illustrated by your own posts. It would serve you well to wait and see what the actual outcome is. All you got at this point is fortune telling and gossip from actors who have their own agenda and ample incentive to be anything but forthcoming.

    2) The focus on breakdown "revenue" vs "cuts" is simplistic. There are many "cuts" that progressives want and proposing such cuts speaks well of the presidents negotiating skills. Cuts in defense spending is just one example.

    This is a point I've made over and over and you being unresponsive so many times by now indicates that you lack the facilities to discuss that issue on the merits and instead elect to bail out. It gives the impression that your agenda is advocacy rather than fact-based discussion. It doesnt speak well of your character. I'll consider it "no contention" from now on.

    He did not deny it or disown it as he did so many other references during the presser.

    He gave a typical politicians non-answer. Wolf dangled the bait but Obama didn't bite. This is politics 101; your interpretation of the implications shows you know nothing about how the game of politics is played, still you pose here as someone that have a clue.

    At any time during the negotiations Obama could have gone public with what was on offer from him, from congressional dems, from the republicans. He has so far elected not to, which is exactly what he continued doing while answering that question.

    The CBO disagrees.

    Did you tell Steve Benen? Kevin Drum? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities? You're accusing them all of peddling misinformation. I supplied both actual data and a source. You've done nothing but carp "CBO". In my last post I pretty much challenged you to expand upon what the f-ck you're on about and bring facts to support it. But you didnt, which looks like a pretty clearcut case of chickening out. Speaks volumes buddy.

    Once again, nothing but a silly unsubstantiated accusation.

    Thats only because you keep editing out the preceding two and a half sentences where I lay out the argument you keep pretending I never made. Don't you feel rather silly engaging in such childish behavior? Here it is again:

    Cutting defense spending and paying medicare providers lower reimbursement rates are progressive policies and always has been. Offering them in a debt reduction negotiation is not caving. You keep ignoring that [what 3,4 times now where you couldnt bring yourself to even adress this point?], because fact is you're not interested in making a fair judgement, you're interested in critizing the president, right or wrong.

    Do you have any response at all to that? Any? At all?


  • Joe Friday on July 12, 2011 5:39 PM:

    "My point was that you cant just assume that everyone will study your posts closely enough to intuitively grasp what you mean when you talk about what the 'dude' said and referring to your previous post."

    I could care less.

    However, in response to one of your queries, I directed you back to my post upthread. You chose not to read it. That's on YOU.


    "It doesnt speak well of your character."

    Try a mirror, Chocko.

    I don't need your goofy approval.


    "Did you tell Steve Benen? Kevin Drum? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities?"

    Unlike you, they're all aware.


    "Don't you feel rather silly engaging in such childish behavior?"

    YOU are the one that posted this silly childish rant:

    "No I didn't read your post, as I am generally not prone to read through the full oevre of every blog commenter with an opinion; not until they've shown their worth and ability to read for comprehension."

    Again, please don't read my posts if they upset your delicate nature.


  • Danny on July 12, 2011 5:58 PM:

    There's not much left for me to do but take note that you've pretty much conceded all arguments on merit and retreated to dropping incomprehensible one-liners and non sequiturs.

    Pretty much complete capitulation I'd say. But it's not terribly shocking to find some random on-line firebagger to be all hot air and no substance. It's par for the course.

    My two main propositions are in my previous post, numbered for your convenience. If you ever muster the courage to adress them, let me know. See you around.

  • Joe Friday on July 13, 2011 9:40 AM:


    Geez, just how juvenile and self-aggrandizing can you get ?

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