Obama’s Grand Bargain

Despite a half dozen failed tries to get a grand bargain, President Obama is still working hard at a new attempt. Fortunately, this latest effort seems likely to fail for the same reason as all the others. From Politico:

They’ve been wined and dined by President Barack Obama, spoken repeatedly with the White House chief of staff and met privately in the Capitol.

But after months of talking, the grand bargain between the White House and congressional Republicans is just as elusive as ever.

As fall approaches, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough has met frequently with Republican senators in the hopes of finding consensus on an overarching fiscal deal. But the two sides are stuck in the same-old tax-and-spending debate — Democrats want to raise revenue, while Republicans refuse.

If insanity is trying to do the same thing over expecting different results, than the administration is clinically ill.

Given that there is a fundamental and unbridgeable disagreement on this issue the administration should have moved on to basically anything else, but it has become Obama’s white whale. It is the dangerous obsession which has repeatedly brought needless destruction.

The article goes on to remind everyone that Obama is both open and even eager to cut Social Security benefits as part of a deal. The only thing that has repeatedly saved the program is Republicans refusal to increase taxes.

Illustration by A. Burnham Shute, public domain