Well, this should be interesting. Now that the Casey Anthony trial and verdict is yesterday’s news, attention is finally swinging back to one of the big fish in the national issues skillet: reducing the federal deficit. And Prez O upped the stakes considerably yesterday as WaPo is reporting that the administration is OK with deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare.
Alert the militia and get the women and children off the streets. This could get nasty.
The liberals argue that reducing the deficit is important as long as spending cuts don’t strike deep into social programs and fall entirely on the middle class and low-wage earners. And gee. Some tax increases sure would be nice. The conservatives argue that government spending and the deficit must be slashed — the more the better — and without any offsetting new taxes or revenue enhancements.
Ah, something has to give here. And both sides will be “spinning” the eventual agreement to claim victory. That should be worth a few yukes, if nothing else.
That brings me to Pat Buchanan, the former Nixon speechwriter, GOP presidential candidate, TV Talking Head and now conservative-in-residence on MSNBC.
I’ve always respected Buchanan and his viewpoints, although I certainly don’t agree with him on everything. But unlike most of the Inside the Beltway pundits, he has the ability to talk about important and complex issues in a way that is clear, understandable and based on enough common sense that even a rube like me sitting here in the heartland can figure out what he is talking about. He’s kind of the counterpoint to the D.C. policy wonks and think tank crowd.
Here’s a story from Mediaite, “Pat Buchanan: It’s ‘Suicidial’ for Republicans to Raise Taxes, ‘Obama Will Fold‘”:
MSNBC’s conservative commentator Pat Buchanan took on the entire Morning Joe panel as he explained that President Obamais ignoring political reality if he thinks tax increases of any kind could pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Buchanan states that any Republican who signs such a deal would face angry and unforgiving constituents back home, therefore he predicts “Obama will fold.”
Despite pleas from Mika Brzezinski for Republicans to put something on the table and economic arguments from Steven Rattner regarding why revenue increases are necessary, Buchanan maintained the Republican ground:
“Philosophically, they don’t believe you raise taxes when you got 9% unemployment. It’s not only politics, it is principle and philosophy. They think it’s the wrong way to go. I think it’s the wrong way to go. You don’t do it simply because somebody says ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we both gave something?”
Rattner was optimistic that Obama will stare down Republicans and get a big compromise, yet Buchanan remained doubtful, since any tax increase “would be suicidal” for Republicans who would essentially be going back on their pledge. Furthermore, “why do it for a President of the United States who has just accused them of being worse than Sasha and Malia,” Buchanan wondered. In the end, the only thing everyone seemed to agree on is that America is “strategically overextended,” and Buchanan depressingly concluded “the empire is coming down.”
If the Republicans agree to tax increases — and they can try to spin that as closing loopholes, revenue enhancements, whatever until the cows come home — and lot of them in Congress will be going home and staying home after the 2012 elections.
And if history is a guide, in the end, Obama will fold.
Let the spinning begin.