There are three issues heavily weighing President Obama down as he heads into reelection in 2012: 1) the economy; 2) the debt; and 3) Obamacare. The deal Obama is crafting with Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would appear to completely neutralize issues two and three.
According to The New York Times, Boehner is in negotiations with Obama on a long-term debt deal that would include a trigger for an automatic tax hike in exchange for a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate.
This would be a tremendous deal for the White House on both issues. Obamacare is already law. It does not matter if its estimated costs go up now. By losing the mandate now, Obama jettisons the most unpopular part of Obamacare and kills off a potential Supreme Court ruling against the law. Plus Obama would be able to campaign on a bipartisan deal to reduce the debt, thus neutralizing that issue. Meanwhile, nothing would be done to tackle our nation’s real deficit problems: fundamental Medicare reform. Oh, and taxes would be hiked by trillions of dollars, too.
Its obvious why the White House would love every aspect of such a deal. How it helps Boehner, or the nation’s bottom line, is a complete mystery.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Examiner, Obama, Boehner push toward $3 trillion debt deal: Although both sides deny it, Senate Democratic aides say President Obama and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, are close to a deal that would raise the debt limit in exchange for $3 trillion in spending cuts. Senate Democrats were alarmed by the news since the deal appears not to include any tax increases.
The New York Times, Boehner and Obama Nearing Deal on Cuts and Taxes: According to The New York Times, Obama is pushing for an automatic trigger that would raise taxes if Congress failed to pass fundamental tax reform. In exchange, they are offering Boehner an end to Obamacare’s individual mandate.
The Los Angeles Times, ATF sought to downplay guns scandal, emails show: Months after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was killed, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms officials evaded questions from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, about the involvement of guns from the failed Fast and Furious sting operation. New emails also show that ATF officials plotted on how best throw Grassley’s investigation off track.
Investors Business Daily, Home Depot Co-Founder Says Obama Is Choking Recovery: Bernie Marcus, who co-founded Home Depot in 1978, tells Business Insider that “today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today.”
The Washington Examiner, Obama tests the line between campaigning and his official duties: House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has begun a probe into whether Obama illegally using his office to benefit his presidential campaign. Issa noted a specific Mach 7th event in the Blue Room of the White House with business leaders that did not appear on Obama’s public schedule. The attendees were all Obama donors and the meeting was organized by the Democratic National Committee. Another group, named Generation Opportunity, charges that Obama has been choosing official White House stops at college campuses to better his popularity with college-age voters.
CNN, Taxpayers lose $1.3 billion in exiting Chrysler: Now that the U.S. government has sold its remaining 6% stake in Chrysler, the Treasury Department has announced that U.S. taxpayers lost $1.3 billion in the deal. That total does not include the billions that Indiana retirees lost when Obama rendered their Chrysler bonds worthless or the billions of other loans that Treasury already forgave. The real total taxpayer loss on the Chrysler bailout is in the tens of billions.
Huntsman: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman lost his campaign manager yesterday.
Susan Wiles, who managed Florida Gov. Republican Rick Scott’s successful campaign, resigned and will be replaced by Matt David, who was the campaign’s communication director.
Paul: Rep. Ron Paul’s, R-Texas, supporters are forming a “Super PAC” to independently support his presidential campaign. Revolution PAC will be free to raise unlimited donations from anybody but they will not be allowed to coordinate with the Paul campaign. Revolution PAC organizers say they plan to run television and ads promoting Paul’s congressional record.
Pawlenty Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s latest ad using footage of the 1980 U.S. hockey team’s Miracle On Ice might not be on the air long. ABC Sports says Pawlenty use of the footage violates their copyrights and they are considering sending Pawlenty a cease and desist letter.
RedState‘s Erick Erickson makes the case that Boehner’s deal to get rid of the individual mandate would “keep Obamacare around forever.”
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has posted a video, voiced over by Obama talking about how useless commissions are, detailing all the failed debt commissions over the past 30 years.
At The Corner, The Heritage Foundation’s J.D. Foster explains that a spending cut isn’t a spending cut until it is actually written into law and that everything else is just a promise.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., tells The Weekly Standard, “there’s no realistic expectation that the Gang of Six plan is ever gonna accomplish anything by the time we need to.”
Talking Points Memo‘s David Kurtz thinks it is “mystifying” that Standard & Poor’s thinks they can dictate the size and scope of the budget deal in Congress.
The New York Times Nate Silver argues that Republican governors are governing too conservatively and are jeopardizing losing independent voters.
Amanda Marcotte makes the case that nothing is Obama’s fault and everything that is wrong with America is due to Republicans.