Obama says Congress must raise taxes on the rich. Public opinion polls say most Americans agree.
Most Americans are thieves. They want all of the government-provided goodies at someone else’s expense. That is what the welfare state is all about.
Speaker of the House Boehner says “no deal. Cut spending.” If he deviates this month, he is likely to be replaced as Speaker. He loves being Speaker.
Will the cuts begin? Yes.
The March 1 meeting was scheduled for show, not substance. All of this debate over sequestration is for show. This is not the showdown.
The showdown will come at the end of March. That’s when the next increase in the federal debt ceiling will be required to avoid the official bankruptcy of the U.S. government. That’s judgment day.
The debt ceiling will get raised. The government will not be allowed to shut down. Either the House Republicans will buckle or Obama will.
The battle over sequestration is all about positioning for the real battle, which begins at the end of March.
The last time this happened was in mid-2011. The compromise was what we are facing today: automatic spending cuts.
The last time there was a head-on collision was in 1995. The House Republicans backed down. Clinton stood his ground. He let the House Republicans hit the debt ceiling. The public demanded the increase. Gingrich cried “uncle.”
Obama holds the cards on this one. He can use the preliminary positioning of the Republicans to his advantage. They will say “We’re not going to budge.” But they will budge on the debt ceiling hike. They will not allow those Social Security payments to get stalled by a legal technicality of the debt ceiling.
At that point, a majority of House Republicans will pressure Boehner to compromise. He will then talk turkey. He will not lose his position.
Boehner is standing his ground for a showdown . . . with House Republicans. He is playing chicken. He is not playing it with Obama.
Th public is content with an annual official deficit of a trillion dollars. This is Obama’s ace in the hole. The voters don’t care about deficits. They don’t care about a trillion a year in Federal Reserve bond purchases. They care about their monthly checks.
It is clear who the losers will be: the voters. They will get what they want.
The winner will be Obama. He will not be in office when the train goes over the burning trestle of debt.
On February 28, Obama issued a press release. It said this: “Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington.” They can, and they will. Why? Because they are the cause of the dysfunction in Washington. They elected the present government. They expect something for nothing. They expect the rich to pay. They are like a drunk at a tavern. They insist that they be allowed to run up their tab. They believe that someone else will pick up their tab. They call for “another round.” They will get it.