As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Suggests He’ll Take the McConnell Plan

President Obama today signalled that he would accept a plan by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to make a clean increase in the debt ceiling that is not directly tied to deficit reduction.

Obama, who appeared at yet another White House press conference, proclaimed that he continued to seek a $4 trillion deal to reduce the deficit. But since it includes tax increases unacceptable to Republicans, that deal is in reality so far out the window it cannot be reeled back in.

But Obama also subtly jettisoned a deal of about $2.4 trillion, suggesting an explanation for the impasse that has plagued the secret White House negotiations that have been held almost daily this week. That is, he wants sizable chunk of new taxes to close even the smaller the deal. Republicans will never bite.

Just to be very specific, we’ve identified over a trillion dollars in discretionary cuts, both in defense and domestic spending.  That’s hard to do.  I mean, that requires essentially that you freeze spending.

So I have not seen a credible plan — having gone through the numbers — that would allow you to get to $2.4 trillion without really hurting ordinary folks.  And the notion that we would be doing that, and not asking anything from the wealthiest among us or from closing corporate loopholes — that doesn’t seem like a serious plan to me.

Obama’s tacit embrace of the McConnell escape hatch became apparent when he said he’d “like” to solve the deficit problem but didn’t insist on it, calling the clean increase in the deficit an “option” for ending the crisis, even if it is “the least attractive option.”

But in a sign that he at one point was serious about getting a deal. Obama also indicated that, as part of an agreement, he would allow average seniors’ Medicare costs to rise to help address program shortfalls, though the wealthier would have to pay even more.

If you’re a senior citizen, and a modification potentially costs you a hundred or two hundred bucks a year more, or even if it’s not affecting current beneficiaries, somebody who’s 40 today 20 years from now is going to end up having to pay a little bit more. The least I can do is to say that people who are making a million dollars or more have to do something as well.

Beyond that, there were some of the usual platitudes.

Republicans are the tools of greedy special interests:

My Republican friends have said that they’re not willing to do revenues and they have repeated that on several occasions. My hope, though, is that they’re listening not just to lobbyists or special interests here in Washington, but they’re also listening to the American people.

And, none of the deficit is my fault:

It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade; we ended up instituting new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for; we fought two wars, we didn’t pay for them; we had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states — and all that accumulated and there’s interest on top of that.

So much for cumbaya. When politicians are spending as much time talking to all of us in the press instead of each other, they’re not serious about getting anything done. All in all, more evidence we’re going the McConnell route.

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50 Responses to Obama Suggests He’ll Take the McConnell Plan

    • And the answer to that is that he will never give a credible plan because he has not got one. The answer is this…” give me YOUR plan and we can talk “. Seriously, do they think we the “folk” are that stupid????????
      And on a side note…whomever compared the dear sweet mrs. to Jacqueline Kennedy should be summarily shod in Wal-Mart shoes for life, since apparently thats where our flotus shops.

  1. I’m beginning to think that the WhiteHouse press corps is being drugged by the water or some airborne toxin.
    They sat and didn’t say a word when MrO lied, flip-flops, spins about things he said, not years ago, but days ago. No followups to the 80% favorable polls on raising taxes, no question about his previous statements that seniors, the military and the disabled might not receive their checks, no inquiries into any specifics of his plan or his budget proposals but only some bunnypuffs that he just sucked up like a straw in a slurpee.

    By letting him spout generalities, without any objection from the press, about the negotiations, he was able to present his part as a leader who wants to put our fiscal house in order and not expose himself as a free-spending, tax-hungry demagogue who doesn’t give a hoot about our national debt..

      • Susan, I think you and I (and maybe a few others) should apply for WhiteHouse press credentials. We’d probably only last for one presser before we were escorted out of the building, but it would be interesting.

      • HA! Its not the WH Press Corps anymore…(re: real journalists asking real questions)
        …its become the “White House Propaganda Corps”

    • srdem – did you notice the piece of paper he takes from his pocket and puts on the lectern? Looks down at it before he calls the next reporters’ name. Could they have been fed the questions? Hmmmm Just asking.

      • It’s not so much the questions as it is the questioner who can be counted on to ask the right way so as to give the Prez the opportunity to yak away.
        Nobody called on is asking “what’s your plan, MrPrez?” or “when did you change your mind” or “are the allegations made by MrBoehner true; that you keep changing the figures?”, or best of all, “why won’t you accept a short term solution to keep America from going into default?”.
        The press acts like whipped puppies or the ‘nerds’ who keep hoping they’ll be invited to hang out with the ‘cool’ kids.

        • We wouldn’t get past security but oh what joy to have a real person stand up and ask him a question point blank and not stand down till we got an answer or were removed! The plain everyday
          American could go head to head with this man and come up trumps on any subject we are smarter than he thinks. And that will
          be his Waterloo.

  2. The McConnell plan is dead in the water unless the Republican party wants to face a purge in the 2012 election. Not only is it a stupid plan, it forces the House to turn over their constitutional responsibility to control the purse strings. That is something a Republican true to their oath of office would never do.

  3. If I hear myself and other citizens refered to as ” folks ” one more time I swear I will puke. Have I mentioned that Mr. Omnipot-tatoehead makes me sick? What an arrogant dick-tatorial jackass-hole he is.
    Damn…now I have to go to confession.
    Might as well add that Moo-chelle is to Jacqueline Kennedy as coal is to diamonds and in that order. Whomever has made that comparison should be shod in wally world shoes for life.

    • Why worry about the O-bomb? You’ve got Michelle Bachmann to speak for you! Finally, a Republican willing to tell Moody’s and S&P where to stick it! The Right Wing has finally found it’s voice and got the RINO’s running scared! Yourre e happy about this, right? I mean, this was the plan! A Tea Party to shake up Washington… and they are doing it! They are actually giving the middle finger to the establishment, drawing the line and making shit happen! This was what you wanted… and now you are getting it! And it may cause a second recession, but this is it! It’s happening for you at last!

      Guys… you’re happy right? Michelle “Birther” Bachmann is in the saddle and Grover Norquist’s dream is coming true! You’re happy now!

      Guys?

      • Death Ray… It must be very sad for you see your messiah as he really is…a man-child who is completely over his head and falling apart bit by bit as America watches in horror while our beloved way of life is being destroyed.

    • Jan wow I have thought the same thing I will light a candle for you and you do one for me:). You know how we ‘folks’ are about our Bibles and guns. I haven’t got a gun can I still be a proper folk or am
      I a faux folk?:)

      • “Man-child” must be the talking point of the week. And once again,an ad hominem attack has been used in place of a rational response.

        But I was serious about what I said. To recap:

        1)The Republicans wanted a Housefull of right wingers to knock some sense into the “RINO’s”, and they got it
        2) The Republicans wanted a House that would hold the line on spending and taxes, and they got it
        3) The Republicans wanted congressmen who would not negotiate with Obama under any circumstances, and they got it.

        Yo’ve gotten everything you wanted! The state of these negotiations is everything you could have dreamed of! So please, will someone explain why the Tea Party is turning summersets right now?

  4. The problem with the “cuts” is that they will never really happen. The deal will be done and people will move on. The legislation to provide the ‘cuts’ will not be written or if it is it will languish with no votes taken on it. What will happen is the borrowing will continue as new laws are written doling out the new money.

    • So, there’s just no winning, right? When the time comes for the Tea Party Revolution to spin crap into gold, it turns out that defeatism is on the plate? “Boo hoo! There’s just no stopping politics as usual!”

      The problem is, the Tea Party has proven to be completely unserious as a challenge to the status quo. Instead, they have chosen to spend their political capital playing chicken with the America’s credit rating while pretending that they have the exclusive authority to control the budget.

      Imagine if Obama was actually willing to deal directly with Bachmann the way he does with Boehner and McConnell. I guess that’s what happens when you lead a campaign calling the President an illegal immigrant. People remember those kind of insults.

      The Tea Party bit itself in the ass.

      • MrRay, it’s always interesting to have opposing views on current political affairs.
        Feel free to give us your take on why the tea party’s platform of “smaller government and a balanced budget” wouldn’t be in the best interest of the future of our country.

        • mr. ray, your obsession with this twisted concept of the tea party is truly clouding your vision of how mr obozo RUINING our way of life..
          (which is why the tea party was born). your classic elitist blabbery
          is way past tedious into the surreal… come 2012 our country will
          clearly show & your kind a swift kick of rejection..
          hopefully your regressive experiment will return to the slimy,
          stinky pit of hell you slithered from.. (to put it mildly)

        • Thank you, Sr! Always a pleasure to be welcomed.

          So, let me tell you where I am coming from (if only to make the peigeonholing easier). I truly do not like labels, because they are always imprecise (how would you label a pro life environmentalist?), but I am proudly liberal, in both the modern and classic sense, I vote Green, and my political Godfathers are Ralph Nader, Matt Taibbi and Frank Zappa. My tinfoil hat is size 7 1/4.

          My take on the Tea Party is my take on any ostensibly revolutionary movement. That is, they always put their beef front and center, but when crunch time comes, then (to quote Mondale), “Where’s the beef?”

          Anyone can talk small government and a lower budget. That’s nothing new from the Republicans. But here we are at a moment when necessity is demanding real budget consciousuness, and the Tea Party is sabotaging it in order to procure tax favoritism for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

          Read any economist who has studied the debt. There is simply no growing our way out of it. It will take budget cuts and tax revenue. Anyone who pretends otherwise is simply in a bubble. So the question is, who should pay those taxes?

          (if you simply deny that we need more tax revenue, then fine. Stop reading. See you on election day).

          Still here? The fact is, the debt owes as much to the influence of the rich as to entitlement spending. Take Social Security: the money exists in theory only, we are told. And why? Because both parties saw SS as a huge piggy bank that could be funneled into things both parties waanted, like wars which have lasted years longer than budgeted for or offsetting tax cuts for the wealthy, an idea underwritten by trickle down economic theory which is a proven failure (deny it all you want: the rich have had very favorable tax rates for a decade now and we have lost millions of jobs. Your pony lost.)

          So lets be honest: The conservative movement owns the debt crisis exactly as much (I’d say more) than the liberals. Can we agree on that?

          So now we have a Tea Party revolt bent on bringing this to the forefront. Fine! Common sense says that both parties will have to sack up and deliver the bad news to their bases. Well, I don’t know how you think Obama appears to we liberals, but I’ll tell you: WE see him as milquetoast when it comes to fighting for liberal causes. Affordable Care is not what we wanted. WE wanted Universal single payer. WE want him to close Gitmo and campaign against the PATRIOT Act. WE wanted him to stick it to the banks during the Meltdown and be a champion against Wall Street. He hasn’t done any of this. You see him as the devil, we see him as Mister Coin Toss.

          But if you are serious about budget deals, this ought to be great for conservatives! Obama is a guy willing to disappoint his base, so all you have to do is be willing to bring a little of that attitude yourselves, and we will then collectively be forced to take our medicine, which is what these debt negotiations are about. Realistically, the outcome should be bad news for everyone, with the good news being that Washington is finally acting like grown-ups.

          Instead, the Republican’s have doubled down on intransigent tactics like Bachmann’s. You don’t want tax hikes, but you’d screw with the nation’s credit rating? That’s nuckin’ futz.

          Conservatives are deluded about class: you think the same rules apply for one as for all, i.e.., “you don’t raise taxes in a recession!” That’s a shibboleth, not truth. You don’t raise taxes on CONSUMERS, because they are what drives a consumer based economy. But the wealthy, the ones who have prospered handsomely over the past decade and even through the recession? Yeah, you can take some money from them. The nation needs it, and they aren’t doing anything with it!

          It is not the government which has created the wealth divide between the upper 1% and the lower 99%, that has kept wages stagnant for generations, and that created the toxic assets that led to this calamity. I’m not saying that any and all regulation is what is required to fix it, but if you are going to champion the cause of everyone operating in their own self interest, well… that applies to classes as well as to individuals. The wealthiest have looked out for number one for too long, and look what it has gotten us.

          The government is planning to cut Medicaid. I am on Medicaid. I’ve got no tears for the wealthy having to pony up a few shekels to pay for all the favors they have enjoyed this past decade. I can agree to disagree with conservatives on some issues, but on this you are just dead wrong. Pay the bills, guys.

          • Closing Gitmo: do you think it was a coincidence that Illinois built a super-max prision and never used it so that it was available to house the inmates at Gitmo?
            Obamacare: single payer? that’s what Medicare is and look at the financial mess it’s in now.
            Banking industry: all it’s power comes from the government.
            Fat cats/wealthy: where do you think MrO is going to get his “billion dollar campaign fund” if not from them.

            C’mon. You’re as disappointed with our elected officals, our national press and the current status of our finances, too.
            Forget MrsBachmann (and MrsPalin, MrTrump, MrPawlenty,MrJohnston, MrCain, et al) they aren’t going to be the Repub nominees. Let them say what they want.

          • I don’t follow Illinois prison construction, so this is the first I’ve heard about it. I hardly think that a new supermax would be needed to house the relatively small number of Gitmo inmates, however.

            As far as Medicare goes, I have not heard anyone on either side of the aisle suggest that the solution would be to do away with it. Face it: It’s something we all want. It seems to me that the most efficient thing to do would be to roll Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans and the Federal health insurance system into one single-payer plan and be done with it. The reason Affordable Care was even needed is because health insurance is now no longer affordable even for the Middle Class, so what’s the argument for keeping private insurance?

            Banking: I’m not sure what you mean by “all their power comes from the government”, but they certainly were allowed to make a mess of things. This argues for more regulation, not less.

            What I am disappointed in is that, having finally gotten what they always wanted in the “true conservatives” of the Tea Party, the Republicans are only now realizing the price of victory. Bachmann isn’t just a mouthpiece; she is actually affecting the negotiations. So own her, my friends! She is what your movement was always building towards.

          • My guess is you will still vote for Obama no matter what he does to this country or her people. Please don’t pretend you know what the Tea Party is all about. Leftists just can’t accept the fact that the Tea Party has no leader. We are measuring each one of the current candidates with the same level of distrust. We want to see if they can walk the talk. There is a long way to go until the 2012 election. Sit back and relax while we make our decision.

          • There is no such thing as a movement with no leaders (unless you are a Ghost in the Shell fan). Leaders emerge regardless; they don’t have to be “official”.

            Case in point: Michelle Bachmann is the leader of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, i.e., she is the spokesman for those elected Tea Baggers (sorry, but “Tea Partiers” tips my syllable quotient). Like it or not, she speaks for you in some capacity.

            It is one thing to vote out of pure skepticism, but eventually you have to have a voice that articulates your positive agenda who you won’t throw under the bus at their first deviation from orthodoxy. If you don’t have one or two of those, you will just be a fickle mob.

        • the Tea Party is sabotaging it in order to procure tax favoritism for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

          Talk about shibboleth. I think if you tax all the haves and have-yachts 100% it barely scratches the surface. We need a new mindset that envigorates all people again–to start businesses, to expand, to get a new fridge… The best we can get, in my humble, is a slowing of the runaway train, since we like transportation metaphors. Maybe in 50 yrs, things would be reasonable and we would be making things or doing things for each other and collecting money for it. Basically, both sides are clueless…it may be the whole world setup is so corrupted (like software) that it can’t limp on.

          • I would think that at this point, the Republicans (those who really believe in wealth for all) would be starting a converstaion about wage disparity. I know that that rubs against the conservative grain, since it means empowering employees as well as employers, but tou are starting to run up against the contradictions of your own philosophy. To wit:

            1) “The private sector creates jobs, not the government”. And yet, the private sector has been treated with abject favoritism for a decade and it has led to net job losses. Also, the depression we are suffering through came from Wall Street cupidity and a government that deferred to the Invisible Hand. This is not an indictment of Capitalism per se, but the bloom is sure off the rose.

            2) The runaway train of what? Government spending? Government spending doesn’t prevent you or I from buying a refrigerator. Unemployment does, low wages does. See point (1).

            The new mindset you are seeking is one in which we realize that masturbating the Over Class leads to the wrong kind of money shot.

          • That’s the problem with liberals. They are always the smartest people in the room and they stun us with their brilliant reinterpretation of facts. We are all searching for answers to what happened to our money. We aren’t going to find out the truth until we start electing honest American citizens rather than career politicians.

          • masturbating the Over Class leads to the wrong kind of money shot.

            Kinda uncalled for, in my opinion. Matt Taibbi is one of your heroes? Really?

            Still, surveys show conservatives tend to read both sides more than liberals do, so even if you are crude, I guess your coming over here is basically good. Several of us used to be Dems–did you know that? That was until Obama drifted out of the ethers.

          • Still searching? I would think at this point it would be obvious. I mean really, a lot of ink has been spilled explaining where the money went.

            Now listen conservatives: get over your loathing of the biscotti nibbling libs of NPR and listen to this installment of This American Life: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/355/the-giant-pool-of-money

            It is an extremely informative and entertaining explanation of the Housing Bubble which is must-hear for anyone who still misunderstands the causes of the New Depression. It is part of a series of shows TML did on the topic, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

    • The cuts will have to happen, Bill. If the Washington elites don’t take this seriously and make real cuts to spending, we will become Greece by next year. There are a few strong conservatives who are fighting for us and we have to let them know that we aren’t going wobbly on them. Contact your representatives and senators and let them know where you stand. Pass cut, cap, and balance and say no to the McConnell plan.

      Did anybody notice what happened in Minnesota last week? The progressive governor demanded tax hikes and the Republican legislature said no. It culminated in a government shut down that lasted for a week. It ended when the governor relented and signed a balanced budget with no tax increases. If Congress could take a page from the Minnesota budget fight we might just get to see some real constructive changes in Washington.

  5. I need a spreadsheet for this stuff. He claimed 80% of us lowly ordinary averages support higher taxes. Which poll is that? I would pay higher taxes only if I thought these twits would not waste it, meaning would not spend on new stuff without putting it toward the debt. What assurance do I have?

    • The poll must have been taken at an Obama Youth Camp, because it has absolutely no basis in reality. If they are successful in raising taxes you can rest assured, they will be coming back for more the same time next year. We don’t have a revenue problem in Washington, we have a spending problem.

      It is estimated that we take in about $203B per month. Our government will spend about $307B this month. Doesn’t take a math major to understand that the government needs to go on a diet. I’m suggesting Weight Watchers, with a mandatory monthly weigh in.

  6. Love how he says “bucks” instead of dollars – making it sound not as painful

    Hey O these “folks” need to keep what little “bucks” they have

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