The pressure is getting to President Obama. Exact details differ among the parties, but everyone seems to agree that Obama grew agitated yesterday after Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., pressed for a short-term debt limit deal paired with small spending cuts. According to multiple sources, Obama told Cantor: “Don’t call my bluff. I am not afraid to veto and I will take it to the American people. … This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.”
According to ABC News, Obama then stood up and said: “Enough is enough. We have to be willing to compromise. It shouldn’t be about positioning and politics, and I’ll see you all tomorrow.” Then he left the room.
Up until now the liberal media has been dutifully playing along with the preferred White House script that Obama is the “adult in the room” far above Washington politics. But at some point the facts will make it impossible for them to play along. It was Obama who played classic Washington politics by avoiding the tough budgetary decisions and appointed a debt commission. Then he cynically dismissed their work once they were done. Then Obama released a budget so out of touch with reality that the Senate rejected it 97-0. Then, when the House Republicans took a hard vote on a real budget scored by the Congressional Budget Office, Obama publicly rebuked House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and then presented his own plan that was so vague the CBO refused to even score it.
Now Obama is going on CBS Evening News, the news show with the oldest demographic, and is threatening to cut off senior citizens Social Security checks unless Republicans agree to raise taxes. Obama talks about “shared sacrifice” and that “everything must be on the table” but then he has kept Obamacare off limits.
There is no reason Republicans should give in to this typical political posturing. They have already taken the tough votes on the Ryan budget. Make Obama veto a shot-term debt limit extension. He’s had more than two years to offer a real plan to reduce the debt. He hasn’t. There is no way he will not own the economic consequences.
Around the Bigs
Politico, No yelling at Obama today: Obama’s patience with the press is wearing then. When asked why print reporters and TV cameras were not allowed to cover the White House debt limit talks yesterday, WH spokesman Jay Carney shot back: “People shouted questions at him. The purpose of the meeting is not to create a circus, but to negotiate, so today we’re doing stills only.”
Bloomberg, Moody’s Places U.S. on Review for Downgrade As Debt Talks Stall: Moody’s Investors Service put the U.S. “under review for a credit rating downgrade.” “What we’re looking for is a raising of the limit. It doesn’t matter the process that they get there, Steven Hess, Moody’s senior credit officer told Bloomberg. “The rating outlook will be determined by the longer-term debt trajectory.”
The Wall Street Journal, Shutdown Hits Happy Hour: The Minnesota state government shutdown is starting to affect government services that citizens actually care about. More than 300 bars and liquor stores can’t buy beer, wine or liquor because the government office that renews their liquor licenses is shutdown.
Gallup, On Deficit, Americans Prefer Spending Cuts: According to Gallup, 50 percent of Americans prefer a debt deal that is made up of only or mostly spending cuts. Only 11% prefer a deal that is only/mostly tax hikes.
The New York Times, Utility Shelves Ambitious Plan to Limit Carbon: American Electric Power scrapped plans to build a full-scale carbon-capture plant in West Virginia. The decisions is a major blow to those who claim that cost effective technology to lower global warming emissions already exists.
The Hill, Navy could face $10 billion in budget cuts: Obama has ordered the the Pentagon to begin slashing its budget to meet his goal of $400 billion in national security cuts. The Navy will begin taking an annual $10 billion cut starting next year.
The New York Times, Amazon Takes On California: Amazon announced this week that it would be launching a voter initiative in California that would eliminate sales tax collection for online retailers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Revenue hungry liberals, Wal Mart and Target are all expected to fight the measure.
Obama: Despite his small-donor rhetoric, The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney shows that Obama’s reelection campaign is largely funded by big donors. The Democratic National Committee, which is essentially an arm of the Obama campaign, took in $19.3 million from individuals who donated $10,000 or more.
At The Corner, Shane Coffin says McConnell Plan B supporters can’t have it both ways: Either the initial legislation does raise the debt limit by $2.5 trillion, or the McConnell plan is an unconstitutional violation of the presentment clause.
The Heritage Foundation‘s Mackenzie Eaglen highlights testimony from Vice Admirals Bill Burke and Kevin McCoy that at current deployment and funding levels, the Navy is operating at an “unsustainable” pace.
The Corner‘s Rich Lowry reports that Obama is rapidly shrinking his offered entitlement savings as the negotiations go on. Meanwhile, Democrats are upping their demands for new spending including unemployment insurance extensions and the doc fix.
Daily Kos‘ Joan McCarter explains where the votes would come from to pass Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s debt limit Plan B in the House. The key is getting the 54 Democrats who do not want any cuts to entitlements.
The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Bernstein also sees a path for the McConnell debt hike to pass the House.
Talking Points Memo notes that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not gaining any ground in Iowa or New Hampshire. The most recent Iowa poll has Perry at just 2 percent while recent New Hampshire polls place him somewhere between 7 and 4 percent.