Reminder: Republicans Don’t Care About the Deficit

By: Tuesday May 1, 2012 9:40 am

Every time Washington goes through a new bout of deficit hysteria, it’s important to remember that most of the politicians warning about the dangers of the annual deficits or the national debt don’t really care about them. From the The Hill: House Republicans say they have no plans to pay for the extension of the [...]

Pretending Reconciliation Doesn’t Exist

By: Monday March 12, 2012 9:39 am

The one defense of President Obama I’ve found most annoying is the argument that Obama “only” had the largest Democratic majority in Congress in a generation for a short period, so it would be unreasonable to expect too much from him given Republican opposition. The latest example of this defense comes from Kevin Drum: So [...]

I Wish the President’s Budget Actually Mattered

By: Tuesday February 14, 2012 11:56 am

The Obama administration officially released its budget for fiscal year 2013 yesterday. As much as I like writing about policy, I frankly lack any desire to write about the substance of this budget proposal. The simple fact is that the President’s budget is basically a long, vaguely political document that is effectively meaningless. After a [...]

There Are No Deficit Hawks – Part 30,354

By: Thursday December 1, 2011 8:26 am

In case you weren’t paying attention during the debate about the extension of the Bush tax cuts last year, members of Congress are again working on a deal to clearly show there is no such thing as a deficit hawk. From Politico: House Majority LeaderĀ Eric Cantor is quietly working both sides of the Capitol to [...]

Debt Ceiling Post Mortem: Obama Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By: Thursday August 4, 2011 10:05 am

Quinnipiac released their Florida poll numbers on the President and the debt ceiling bill, and it does not bode well for his 2012 chances in the swing state. His approval among Independents went from 42% last Wednesday through Sunday to 33% from Monday through Tuesday, while disapproval shot up 52% to 61%. When asked to describe how they feel about the deal, more Independents said they were “angry” (23%) than either Republicans or Democrats.

In order to contextualize the bind that this puts Obama in, it’s worth recounting what I’ve been told about how the deal went down.

Rejecting False Choices

By: Wednesday August 3, 2011 9:00 am

With the debt ceiling deal now law, the next stage of using artificial crisis to force austerity onto the American people begins. This next time instead of members of Congress saying they must vote for big cuts to avoid default, they will be able to point to the newly created triggers in this deal as [...]

The Filibuster Only Exists to Stop Progressivism

By: Monday August 1, 2011 9:32 am

Any proposal put forward by the Super Congress created by the debt ceiling deal can’t be amended and must receive an up-or-down vote in both chambers of the Congress. This means whatever package this small group of members comes up with can’t be filibustered. If there was every any doubt that the main reason the [...]

The Republicans Should Take More Hostages

By: Monday August 1, 2011 8:25 am

This recent debt ceiling deal proves the best way for the Republican Party to get what they want from the Democrats and President Obama is to take metaphorical hostages. At this point for the GOP to try negotiating for new laws through the traditional legislative process would be beyond stupid given how effective the tactic [...]

Countdown to Obama’s Fold

By: Tuesday July 26, 2011 8:53 am

I remember an extremely jarring moment during one of President Obama’s press conferences about extending the Bush tax cuts, when Obama said he must give in to hostage-taking tactics. Via Huffington Post: “I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed. Then people will question the wisdom of that [...]

The Silly Little Hill Obama Never Intended to Fight For

By: Friday July 22, 2011 8:58 am

Reports circulate that President Obama may agree to a massive all cuts debt ceiling package, creating a lot of anger and a sense of betrayal because Obama will fold on his demand that any debt ceiling package contain at least a small amount of new revenue. I can’t understand the amount of anger though because [...]