President Obama wants the debt limit raised by $2.4 trillion. That is only enough deficit spending to get us through the end of 2012. If the debt limit is raised by just that amount, we will need to raise the debt limit, again, in less than two years. So why are negotiators talking about ten-year budget deals when the debt hike in question will last less than two? The size of the debt limit hike should match the length of the budget deal, right?
This logic seems to be sinking in on key Republican leaders including, most recently Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who talked up the idea of a short-term debt limit deal on Fox News Sunday. Conservatives should want every chance to cut spending they get. Why should the Republicans allow this debt limit deal to tie their hands the next time around?
Around the Bigs
Bloomberg, Republicans Might Accept ‘Mini’ Deal on Debt Ceiling, Senate’s Cornyn Says: Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Fox News Sunday that Republicans may accept a short-term debt limit deal that only covers policy changes through the conclusion of the 2012 election: “We’ll take the savings we can get now, and we will re-litigate this as we get closer to the election,” Cornyn said.
The Washington Examiner, Failed debt talks would take immediate toll: The Bipartisan Policy Center again confirmed that there is no risk of the United States defaulting on the national debt if no debt limit deal is reached. The U.S. government will take in $172 billion in taxes this August and only $29 billion in interest payments are due. Total federal spending, however, would have to be cut by 44%.
The New York Times, Administration Offers Health Care Cuts as Part of Budget Negotiations: The White House is leaking news that they are willing to cut “tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid” as part of a debt limit deal, but only if Republicans agree to raise taxes.
The Wall Street Journal, Inside the Disappointing Comeback: Measuring by most benchmarks (including job growth, unemployment levels, bank lending, economic output, income growth, home prices and household expectations for financial well-being) the Obama recovery is the worst since World War II. Analysts blame persistent household debt.
The Washington Post, New breed of ‘super PACs,’ other independent groups could define 2012 campaign: A ruling, last week, by the Federal Election Commission allows political candidates to help raise money for independent super PACs. Candidates still are not allowed to coordinate campaign strategies with the groups though, who can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, individuals, and unions.
The Los Angeles Times, Stem cell agency’s top salaries stand out on state roster: Unlike adult stem cell research, which was supported by pro-life conservatives and has produced many promising medical breakthroughs, embryonic stem cell research has yielded no real results. But California taxpayers are still spending $3 billion for embryonic stem cell research through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine including many six figure salaries.
Romney: Yesterday in Amherst, New Hampshire, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney again claimed that Obama made the recession worse. The liberal media seems to think this is a big flip-flop for Romney since he also correctly points out that the economy is not worse today than it was in June 2009 when the recession ended. It should be a simple point: the economy is better today than it was when the recession ended, but it would be even better today if Obama’s policies hadn’t slowed economic recovery. The media’s insistence on calling this a contradiction shows Romney still hasn’t shaken the flip-flop label.
Perry: The Republican Governors Association, which is chaired by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, raised $22.1 million in the first six months of this year. That total is nearly $10 million more than the RGA raised in the first halves of 2007 and 2009. Outside of Romney, the GOP field has not produced stellar fundraising total so far this year. The RGA numbers suggest that if Perry did enter the race, he would at least be in Romney’s league resources-wise.
The Heritage Foundation‘s Andrew Grossman explains why section Four of the 14th amendment does nit give the president the authority to ignore the debt limit.
The Weekly Standard‘s Jeffrey Anderson flags a report dumped on Friday by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors showing that Obama’s stimulus saved just under 2.4 million jobs at a cost of $666 billion, or $278,000 per job. Anderson comments: “In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.”
The New York Times David Brooks ensures his future access to top Obama administration officials today, castigating congressional Republicans for not caving on the debt limit: “If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right.”
President Obama responded to an email from a Daily Kos diarist with a hand written note. It is a decent preview of how Obama plans to sell his reelection campaign: “I read your letter, and regret your disappointment. Perhaps from your vantage point it looks like I’ve betrayed working people. From my vantage point, we’ve rescued the country from a Great Depression, saved the auto industry, passed health care reform, strengthened financial oversight, ended the war in Iraq, ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, reversed eight years of anti-labor and anti-environmental regulation, expanded student aid to millions of young people, made the largest investment in clean energy in our history, and started enforcing our civil rights laws again. And this all in the face of an intransigent opposition. Have we gotten everything we want? No. But that’s not how a democracy works. So rather than give up hope, I’d suggest you stay involved and keep working with like minded folks to bring about a fairer, more prosperous America.”