‘Now that Obama’s given away his leverage’

Notice what Cole is saying: Now that Obama has given away his leverage, Republicans can go after “entitlements” — meaning Medicare and Social Security benefits — during the debt ceiling and sequester negotiations. So it’s very important for us to keep up the pressure on Democrats and make sure they don’t take the bait:

Today on MSNBC, leading House Republican Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said that Obama’s tax deal — that extends tax cuts even for people making $30,000 a month and enacts a weaker estate tax than otherwise would’ve gone into law — has resulted in the President giving away all his leverage:

TOM COLE: Again, I would prefer not to raise taxes on anybody. But we protected almost every American. We did it at a higher income level than the President campaigned on. And again, frankly, we’ve denied him I think his most important piece of leverage in any negotiation going forward. So I particularly like that part. I understand unemployment extension. I prefer, you know, a more focused effort in that regard. But we do have parts of the country where that’s necessary and it’s a fair compromise.

The entitlement issue, just too much to deal with I think in one piece of legislation. But again, still sequester is in front of us. The continuing resolution runs out the end of March and obviously the debt ceiling. All of those things honestly are Republican leverage not Democratic so I think there will be opportunities to deal with the spending issue next year. Honestly I expect that will be the dominant issue along with trying to overhaul the tax code going forward. So that’s usually pretty good ground for Republicans.

President Obama is playing Br’er Rabbit to the Republicans’ Br’er Fox. “Oh please, please, Br’er Fox, don’t throw me in that briar patch!” If he ends up in a squeeze where the only deal Republicans will accept includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, it’s because he wants to be there.

3 Responses to ‘Now that Obama’s given away his leverage’

  1. imhotep January 2, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Obama never has had any leverage to “give away.” The House writes every spending bill. The Congress—both the Senate and the House—pass every spending bill. The President has veto power. That is his/her only leverage. Please don’t blame the President for what the Congress has wrought. There are 536 villains. Not just 1.

  2. quixote January 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    That’s right. Obama has no leverage. The Democrats in Congress never do anything he wants. That’s why we have Medicare for All at half the price per person instead of Obama’s ACA. That’s why Plan B is available over the counter. That’s why, when he had filibuster-proof majorities in his first two years, none of the things he campaigned on in 2008 could be carried out.

    It’s really tough being the most powerful man in the world.

  3. Richter January 3, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    You nailed it, Susie. It is becoming clear that Obama, unlike the vast majority of Democrats or Republicans,sees everything two steps ahead. The Progressive Caucus had vowed to oppose cuts in Social Security or Medicare, so Biden did not include them in the deal. Instead, obviously, earned benefits will be targeted in the next round in March when the GOP will say: I understand you want the debt ceiling raised. Nice little entitlements you have there. It would be a shame if anything happened to them.

    That will give the President an opportunity to reach agreement on the debt ceiling acceptable to Democrats/progressives while making progress on his Grand Bargain of cutting the legs out from under the sick and the elderly. Presumably, the President’s argument to liberals will be that he had no choice but to accede to Repub demands on earned benefits in order not to imperil the nation’s credit rating or the world economy. Pretty slick.

    Congratulations on finding employment!

Site Meter