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Politico: Grand Bargain All But Impossible

by Keith Koffler on March 13, 2013, 10:39 am

President Obama almost certainly missed his chance to strike a “grand bargain” with Republicans on the deficit, particularly after having taken taxes out of the mix by raising them by $600 billion unilaterally at the beginning of the year, according to Politico.

Republicans, according to the piece, are serious when they say they are finished hiking taxes. And that puts Obama, despite his sudden charm explosion, in a serious bind.

From the article:

Obama would have to persuade Republicans to vote for a tax increase for the second time in less than one year. Can you imagine Boehner and his troops heading into the 2014 midterm elections dominated by conservative activists having to explain, not one, but two increases?

They ate $600 billion in defense cuts that a majority of Republicans wish they could undo rather than discuss even a tiny tax increase. Hard to see them budging now . . .

“Nobody is even talking about a grand bargain,” one of the Senate’s most influential Democratic leadership aides told us. “It is not even on our radar right now.” An adviser to Speaker John Boehner told us that window was slammed shut by Obama’s hardball tactics since the tax hike. “He missed the chance.”

I think the analysis is correct. Republicans who raise taxes again will be welcoming primary challenges all over the nation. And the White House has already socked them with two hits – tax increases and defense cuts. Obama will learn that you can hit someone over the head and apologize only so many times.

This is why Gene Sperling was busy screaming at Bob Woodward. Because he knows Woodward’s contention – that Obama moved the goalposts by trying include tax increases as a substitute for the sequester, which is all about spending cuts – does bodily damage to the president’s effort to extract more revenues from Republicans.

Sperling was likely engaged in a typical White House tactic – bully reporters to erase reporting that isn’t helpful to Obama. But as Politico notes, Republicans already get it.

Leave a Comment

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

Best headline I have seen in ages, Keith. I think the Republicans have the 2014 election if they don’t cave one inch on taxes and if they keep hammering away at Obamacare. Two absolutely winning issues with the public, and the media and the liberal states can whine all they want because the elections will be local. I’ve already told Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, that I categorically will not vote for anyone who signed on to Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Patty Murray is saying the Dems would raise taxes a trillion dollars.

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Star March 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

Speaking of Obamacare–story this morning about what a horrible soul-sapping experience it will be to sign up–a huge questionnaire that takes 45 mins or longer and that isn’t even picking a plan! We are going to be hating life. I have Medicare Advantage–HMO–will that be an option? Do I have to prove I have it? Head hurts.

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RickW March 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

I read an article that warns of the effects of Obamacare on pets……Interesting, if you think about it. the 2% Tax on medical devices applies to vet supplies as well. Maybe Ryan can get Bo to lobby for the repeal…..

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William March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

No. That would just result in an attempt to amend it to include pets, thus requiring people to purchase insurance for their pets.

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

We live in an area that used to have many veterinarians (horses, cattle) and has lost quite a few because of the economic hard times. This will add to the already severe pain.

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Star March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

He’s a good boy–he’ll do it…

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Star March 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Bo, I mean.

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

We have Medicare Advantage too. One of the reasons we went with it was so that we wouldn’t have to deal with all the paperwork involved in Medicare. When our two mothers were alive, the minute you’d walk into their houses, they’d hand you a sheaf of papers and ask you to explain it. I think Obama has in mind that we ‘Advantagers’ would just pay more, but he doesn’t like us seniors because we didn’t vote for him so there might be some revenge in the works.

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Star March 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Remember–the $500B “cut” to fund Obamacare was going to gut Advantage–but not until after the election…

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Star March 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

The best I had (for 3 mos) was regular Medicare with a supplemental, but that went up and up and finally I went to the HMO. There is still paperwork and some insurance people hassle you–they call me to see if I am senile yet (what day of the week is it?) and when I was in the ER, they sent me to my eye doctor the next day–and the primary said I had to come back to their office and get a referral. I had one–oh, no, it was expired. My eye was swollen and I was crying in pain. Infected corneas should be a torture! Finally the eye doc said, oh, just see the doc–we will thrash this out–and they did. So HMO’s…still a little evil, but less so.

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Girly1 March 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

Meanwhile, Obama is making his first appearace with Organizing for Action, which, incidentially, is gathering horror stories linked to sequester.

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srdem65 March 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

The OFA is just a Chicago-style protection racket prettied up with the Presidential Seal.

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

Spot on description. There ought to be some legal challenge.

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srdem65 March 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

After reading the transcript of MrO’s ABC interview, it’s no wonder the Repubs don’t want to negiotiate with him. At best, he’s a fountain bubbling cliched talking points, at worst, his words show either he doesn’t have much knowlege of anything or can’t verbalize in an intelligent manner.

After the election, he seemed to believe that those who voted for him with their “lady parts” or were convinced that the Repubs wanted to “put them back in chains” after they poisoned the air and water wanted the government to raise their taxes and regulate their personal lives. There was no “honeymoon” with the voters or even members of his own party, and there was no mandate for MrO to continue to tax and spend without restraint.

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

You left out that he’s a liar.

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

I forgot about ‘voting with your lady parts’. That’s a hoot, albeit an inadvertent one.

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stefie March 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

It’s actually an insult of the worst kind. We have been reduced to nothing more than a vagina. A snatch. A two-twa.
And the left says the right has a war on women!

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Julie Brueckheimer March 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I meant srdem65 is a hoot.

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ImNoDhimmi March 14, 2013 at 9:21 am

Might as well be a muslima!

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Rod March 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

that like that’s all Obama’s got (lady parts, that is).

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Girly1 March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

I love how he always prefaces his remarks with…”Most of America agrees with me…”! He barely squeaked through with 51% of the vote – hardly a mandate.

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Car in March 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

Every time he says that, someone should yell out LIAR.

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Car in March 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

EXACTLY srdem. I hear more cogent policy talk from the woman who makes salads where I work.

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Rod March 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

It’s impossible to negotiate with someone with a a jell-o spine and 2 marshmallow down under (a Boehner reference). The man-child negotiates but does it indirectly – he appeals to the sheeple & low information voters (America, unfortunately, is full of them) and then points to polls that suggest what people what is what Obama is saying.

At the end of the day, if he were man enough, he’d get it done directly. He’s not, therefore, the grand bargain fatefully eludes his grasp…

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RT March 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Keith. Think you are barking up the wrong tree here. Folks are figuring out that our President is the worst Socialist ever… At the end of the day, they’ll vote their pocketbook…

The GOP is struggling and kicking the dog every night they come home from work…

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Darkangel March 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But you won’t fool me three times, even if AM a Republican member of Congress.

(At least I HOPE.)

This is the part where we’re really going to see what Obeyme is made of. He finally has to compromise here. The question is, will he do it, or is he going to keep banging the high chair until he gets his rattle? Sadly, I see him continuing to bang his high chair. He’d rather golf than govern, and compromise is against his religion.

I also suspect that his charm offensives are going to start to be less and less effective. Obama Fatigue is going to set in fairly quickly, if it’s not settling in already, and jumping in front of the teleprompter is not going to move public opinion the way it once did. Obeyme may well be able to whip up the lumpen electorate for the rest of his term, but at some point, pretty much everyone who’s actually paying attention is finally going to figure out that snake oil isn’t a cure-all.

We have an interesting 3 years, 10 months, and 6 days to look forward to, do we not?

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Star March 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I would say Obama Fatigue is approaching an “epidemic” at least as real as the so-called obesity “epidemic”–you can’t catch fat, but you can catch OF–from him! Some days to even think of seeing his picture or hearing the talking points, “folks”, dropped final g’s, for the 10th time is so wearying I could sob. This is a blight!

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stefie March 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I’m in the basket with you Star. I can’t stand to see his face or hear his lying voice.
I have never cried after a lost election like I did on last Nov. 7th, but this day was different as I wept for our nation and for the children who will never know the greatness of the United States of America.

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ImNoDhimmi March 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

“Blight”……..that’s exactly what he is. And his “wife”.

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