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June 29, 2011

Q    They don’t want any tax increases, as they put it.  And the House Speaker says not only that he doesn’t support that, but that plan won’t — will not pass the House.  So my question is will you insist, ultimately, that a deal has to include those tax increases that you just laid out?  Is that an absolute red line for you?  And if it is, can you explain to us how that can possibly get through the Congress?

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, I think that what we’ve seen in negotiations here in Washington is a lot of people say a lot of things to satisfy their base or to get on cable news, but that hopefully, leaders at a certain point rise to the occasion and they do the right thing for the American people.  And that’s what I expect to happen this time.  Call me naïve, but my expectation is that leaders are going to lead.

December 7, 2010

THE PRESIDENT: …Marc Ambinder.

Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?

THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?

Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have –

THE PRESIDENT: Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.

And so my expectation is, is that we will have tough negotiations around the budget, but that ultimately we can arrive at a position that is keeping the government open, keeping Social Security checks going out, keeping veterans services being provided, but at the same time is prudent when it comes to taxpayer dollars.

No one could have predicted....

I guess the President thought proposing the Republican's own plan would convince them.  

So the Democrats are proposing 17% tax increases, 83% spending cuts, and the Republicans are rejecting it.  Well, this just forces us to ask: What’s the ideal conservative Republican ratio here?

Let’s take a look at March, 2011 Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Republican report, Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy.  This report lays out the entire case for expansionary austerity, or how if we cut the deficit now the economy will likely grow faster, faster enough to offset the contraction.   National Journal covered this report here.  I think this report is bananas, but we are trying to think like a right-wing economist here.  That report is based on an study by the right-wing think tank American Enterprise Institute, carried out by Biggs, Hassett, and Jensen, titled A Guide for Deficit Reduction in the United States Based on Historical Consolidations That Worked (which, in turn, is largely based on a 2009 study by Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna of Harvard, titled Large changes in fiscal policy: taxes versus spending).

When Republicans say that there is all kinds of research supporting their demands to cut the deficit for the health of the economy, they are specifically referring to their JEC report, which summarizes all the studies and lays out their arguments for What Is To Be Done.  So what does it say about the ratio?

Oops.....

So when the GOP’s economic policy team sat down to make the strongest case they could for growth-inducing deficit reduction, they recommended a mix an 85:15 mix, not a 100:0 mix. And then, when the Obama administration agreed to an 83:17 mix, the Republican leadership walked out of the room and demanded that taxes be excluded from the deal altogether. How do you negotiate with that?

You don't.

What else do you expect when you appease hostage takers...they get more and more confident and audacious...

One Democrat who was there said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) bluntly asked Obama whether he was willing to fight for Democratic priorities amid GOP calls for trillions of dollars in spending cuts.

In asking the question, Waxman said he’d asked several Republicans about their White House meeting the day before and had been concerned by their response.

“To a person, they said the president’s going to cave,” Waxman told Obama, according to his colleague’s account.

The time to stand firm and say enough is NOW.  And that means a lot more than trying to portray an upcoming concession on a corporate jet tax exemption, originally included in the stimulus, as a major victory.

Now is the time to stand up and make jobs to number one priority, as every competent economists have pointed out. The big money is getting restless.

Solutions from policymakers on the right or left, however, seem focused almost exclusively on rectifying or reducing our budget deficit as a panacea. While Democrats favor tax increases and mild adjustments to entitlements, Republicans pound the table for trillions of dollars of spending cuts and an axing of Obamacare. Both, however, somewhat mystifyingly, believe that balancing the budget will magically produce 20 million jobs over the next 10 years. President Obama’s long-term budget makes just such a claim and Republican alternatives go many steps further. Former Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota might be the Republicans’ extreme example, but his claim of 5% real growth based on tax cuts and entitlement reductions comes out of left field or perhaps the field of dreams. The United States has not had a sustained period of 5% real growth for nearly 60 years.

....

Additionally and immediately, however,government must take a leading role in job creation. Conservative or even liberal agendas that cede responsibility for job creation to the private sector over the next few years are simply dazed or perhaps crazed. The private sector is the source of long-term job creation but in the short term, no rational observer can believe that global or even small businesses will invest here when the labor over there is so much cheaper. That is why trillions of dollars of corporate cash rest impotently on balance sheets awaiting global – non-U.S. – investment opportunities. Our labor force is too expensive and poorly educated for today’s marketplace.

In the near term, then, we should not rely solely on job or corporate-directed payroll tax credits because corporations may not take enough of that bait, and they’re sitting pretty as it is. Government must step up to the plate, as it should have in early 2009. An infrastructure bank to fund badly needed reconstruction projects is a commonly accepted idea, despite the limitations of the original “shovel-ready” stimulus program in 2009. Disparate experts such as GE’s Jeff Immelt, Fareed Zakaria, Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Krugman believe an infrastructure bank to be an excellent use of deficit funds: a true investment in our future. While the current administration admits that the $25 billion in Recovery Act spending on infrastructure only created 150,000 jobs, it also stabilized and improved this nation’s productivity for years to come. Clean/green energy investments also come to mind, most of which require government funding and a government thrust in order to create millions of jobs. China knows this and is off and running. The U.S. needs to learn from their state-oriented model. In times of extremis, pushing on the private sector string is ineffective, especially within the context of a global marketplace that offers alternative investment locations. Government must temporarily assume a bigger, not a smaller, role in this economy, if only because other countries are dominating job creation with kick-start policies that eventually dominate global markets.

When Bill Gross talks, the world listens.

It is time to end the kabuki.  It is time to stand up for policies that will create jobs and protect the poor.  It is not the time to try to please people that want you to fail, want you to be a one term President, or think you are a d*ck.  

THE PRESIDENT: Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word ... once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.

Mr. President...it is time to accept the reality.  They don't want you to succeed.   If you have goals that differ from theirs, it is time to take decisive action.

As Timbuk3 said earlier...the message to the GOP should be:

You have 3 options;

Raise taxes on the wealthy.

Send the POTUS a "clean" bill to raise the debt ceiling.

Be responsible for world-wide depression.

That should be the message for the next month.

It is now or never.

Originally posted to justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 09:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

Poll

Did the President actually trust John Boehner in December?

61%22 votes
38%14 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 09:54:05 AM PDT

  •  You do realize what the President says (12+ / 0-)

    in public in order to sound reasonable and what he actually thinks are not one in the same. I rather doubt he trusts Boehner as far as he can throw him.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:00:15 AM PDT

    •  Well then, this is what he should say in (6+ / 0-)

      public to "sound reasonable" :

      I rather doubt he trusts Boehner as far as he can throw him.

      'cuz the continuing charade that he can work with or trust the Republicans makes him come across as a raving lunatic.

      •  We disagree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat68

        If I want to sit down and try and reach a deal with you because I have to. I can't move forward without you because you control just enough of the process to stop movement. Is my calling you out in public as someone who is not worthy of trust really going to get you to play ball?

        Boehner wants to act like a petulant child fine. I really don't want Obama responding in kind or acting in the same way.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:12:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, in any event, it still makes me recall (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade, Lucy2009

          that Glenn Campbell song "there's been a load of compromising, on the road to my horizon" (maybe the President can use that as his theme song for the '12 campaign!).

          Of course, it might not be compromising at all - and really wants all this shit to go down like it is (after all, who "forced" Arne Duncan and Tim Geithner on him?)

      •  or a player (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justmy2

        in the kabuki they call by-partisan or compromise or negotiations. The president is not dumb or naive.  This is the set up and it's getting a little repetitious. Cue up the hostages time to lay them on us.  He lost me with the millionaires need to give up their jets routine yesterday. I've seen this show before and I don't like the end. Austerity for us and some more wealth creating for the top they need it for the race.

    •  Unfortunately his actions do not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, shaharazade

      appear to demonstrate that these are only words.

      Especially when he does not negotiate with Democrats in the house until Boehner tells him he doesn't have votes.

      I can't sit here and say you are absolutely wrong.  But I suspect his words are closer to truth than fiction.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:09:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously (0+ / 0-)

        give me a break this is just factually wrong. And he shouldn't need to negotiate with Democrats. He consults and he has been consulting with Democrats all through this process and every other either through the leadership or through the caucuses.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:15:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What you say is partially true. (0+ / 0-)

          However, his "consulting with Democrats" has been primarily with a select few Conservadems.

          This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
          --Ian Curtis

          by jethrock on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:21:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh Christ this isn't so either n/t (0+ / 0-)

            In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

            by jsfox on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:23:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama hasn't met with the Progressive caucus (0+ / 0-)

              since the 2009 HCR debate.

              He's met with the Congressional Black Caucus once on May 13th of this year.

              Yes he has addressed the house members as whole  a couple times.

              However even Raul Grijalva has voiced his disappointments about Progressives not being included in this years budget negotiations with the White House.

              This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
              --Ian Curtis

              by jethrock on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  nope...he doesn't consult with house Democrats (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jethrock

            they have said so....jsfox assumption is wrong...

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:35:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  what is factually wrong? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jethrock

          I will save you the time...

          Capitol Hill Democrats have been steaming for months, since being sidelined during talks to extend the George W. Bush-era tax rates and fund the government this year. Many say the White House takes their support for granted but ignores them when it comes to making policy.

          “Before this year we were playing a strong role,” said Cuellar, but “now a lot of us feel like we’re almost being ignored.”

          A House Democratic aide said party leaders consider the Thursday meeting, which was requested by Pelosi, an indication that House Democrats will have much greater sway over the debt deal than they did over earlier spending agreements.

          Democrats see a chance to be more influential because dozens of House Republicans are threatening to oppose a debt-ceiling hike because they say the government has spent too much already. GOP defections probably leave Boehner without enough votes to raise the debt limit without Democratic support.

          “We are at the table now,” the Democratic aide said. “If the Speaker had the votes, we wouldn’t expect to be included, but he doesn’t have the votes.”

          same link as in the diary...we can debate the diary....but I don't make up facts...let's keep this respectful

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:35:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I actually didn't read you full comment (0+ / 0-)

          it is actually totally wrong...see the article I linked to.  There are leadership Dems on the record stating the exact opposite of your representation.

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:40:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You do realize that this is being dishonest, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, shaharazade, Lucy2009

      don't you?

      You do realize what the President says in public in order to sound reasonable and what he actually thinks are not one in the same.

      What he says is different from what he thinks?  That's not okay.

      To every millionaire who decries they don't want their grandchildren paying for the deficit, I say: PAY MORE TAXES NOW and your grandkids won't have a deficit burden.

      by gooderservice on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:18:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calling out Boehner for not being a leader seems (0+ / 0-)

    pretty strong to me.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:08:16 AM PDT

    •  a start...in tone...but my diary is more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock

      about the policies...which he still seems to be basing on an assumption that Boehner will fall in line.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hell no you can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justmy2, Lucy2009

    Hopefully this is shift in the right direction and Obama has left the Slurpee analogies in the ditch.

    Not to mention the rhetoric that "no party has a monopoly on good ideas"

    That strategy didn't pan out too well 2010.

    He hasn't gone as far as I'd like to see him go... he hasn't come out and said that Republicans are deliberately trying to fuck over the rest of the country.

    He needs to make a clear distinction between the two choices. Hopefully this is a start.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:08:50 AM PDT

  •  It's Capitol-speak (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jackmac, kktlaw

    Senators say "my good friend across the aisle" even if they want to stab the motherfucker.  

    Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

    by chicago minx on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:10:34 AM PDT

    •  the question was directly related to giving up (0+ / 0-)

      leverage on future debt ceiling negotiations....

      the answer was meaningful and not intended to be cordial.  It was literally his only answer and it seems to be coming up as incorrect.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:38:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Lucy2009

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 11:24:57 AM PDT

  •  I voted no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, aliasalias

    as I don't believe the president is this stupid, he's smart. He knows full well what boner is.  This is just part of the kabuki of 'compromise'. Laying the ground for blaming the Republican's and trying to pass this off as Boehner's failure to lead. He should heed his own advice to Boehner and stop this lame game of by-partisanship. Maybe if he had done this before 2010 we wouldn't have to deal with this insanity. Then again maybe it let's the Dem's off the hook of taking the heat politically for their own dubious agenda and policy. they can't have it both ways putting the frighteners on us using the crazy right wing, and then turn around and 'compromise' away any meaningful solutions  all the while holding we the people as hostages.      

  •  No way he's that gullible. (0+ / 0-)

    He either wants to slash the hell out of our social safety net, and lower taxes for the rich, or he's a horrible leader and doesn't have a clue how to negotiate.

    In either case, it really leaves us high and dry.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 12:26:27 PM PDT

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