A new Pew Research/Washington Post poll finds that if no Fiscal Slope deal is reached, 53% say congressional Republicans are to blame while just 27% think Obama is at fault.
Meanwhile, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post believes yesterday’s “offer” from Speaker Boehner and the Republicans shows that the Republicans have lost and Boehner knows it.
“In 2011, not long after an election in which Democrats were utterly routed, Erskine Bowles testified before the debt supercommittee… It was mostly an exercise in taking the Republican position and the Democratic position and dividing by two… That’s the plan Boehner offered the White House on Monday… it’s a far more centrist proposal than anything Boehner has offered in public before now.”
“It is not surprising that Boehner wishes he could go back in time and accept the president’s offer from 2011, or fight for the compromise Bowles outlined before the super committee. Those are, from his vantage point today, quite good deals. But elections have consequences, and the consequence of this election is that those offers are no longer on the table.”
But is there a deal in sight?
First Read: “While the two proposals seem far apart — and they are — look at them when you split the difference between the two. You get $1.2 trillion in revenue and about $450 to $500 billion in savings to Medicare and Medicaid. And then say you throw in some stimulus for the Democrats (unemployment insurance, transportation spending), as well as the cost-of-living adjustments on Social Security for Republicans. That sounds like a pretty serious deal that both sides could live with, though it would look more like a “win” for the White House. Of course, Republicans would have to relent (in some form or fashion) on rates going up, while Democrats would have to acquiesce (one way or another) on the Social Security.”
David Brooks: “Republicans have to realize that they are going to cave on tax rates. The only question is what they get in return. What they should demand is this: That the year 2013 will be spent putting together a pro-growth tax and entitlement reform package that will put this country on a sound financial footing through 2040.”
Both Chuck Todd and David Brooks say that the Republicans will have to cave and surrender on the tax rates going up. There is universal agreement from every serious person about that fact. But only one Republican, Congressman Tom Cole, has dared to recognize that fact, and he was treated like a traitor. Indeed, Boehner is already getting a conservative backlash against the “counteroffer” he made to President Obama, as if it was wrong to even make any counter offer to the President. Boehner has to be the weakest and most ineffectual Speaker in the history of the United States.
Senator John Kerry had a good comeback for John McCain.