Charlie Cook (National Journal): Remember the old joke that ended with the punch line, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable?” That seems to be the Republican position in the debt-ceiling debate now that House Speaker John Boehner has been forced to renounce any tax increases and, for that matter, any net revenue increases….
…Republicans don’t seem to understand the symbiotic relationships in this negotiation. Democrats hate entitlement cuts just as much as Republicans despise tax hikes. Likewise, just as Republicans dislike defense cuts, Democrats dislike domestic spending cuts. Yet, both are necessary. If Republicans expect Democrats to go along with entitlement cuts, the GOP has to be willing to go along with some revenue increases. If Republicans expect Democrats to swallow deep hits to domestic spending, the GOP has to swallow deep hits to defense. Instead, the Republicans’ position seems to be that they should be allowed to stand on their principles while Democrats are required to compromise theirs.
A deal to raise the debt limit will surely pass, and the United States will probably avoid default …. Republicans will be able to smugly walk away from the table knowing that they didn’t give an inch, but President Obama may well come out the winner. The public will see the president as having tried to negotiate a balanced approach whereby each side allowed its own ox to be gored and made sacrifices for the broader national good.
… What has happened is that the New Republican Party has come to hate taxes a lot more than it hates deficits and the country’s growing indebtedness. It has rewritten history to omit any acknowledgment that President Reagan, when it was necessary, went along with tax increases….
… To be sure, Obama would have had a very hard time selling real entitlement cuts and deep domestic spending cuts to the House and Senate Democratic caucuses that have grown more liberal by attrition and election losses over the past decade. Maybe he wouldn’t have succeeded. But we will never know, and the blame for Washington not stepping up to the plate will fall not on the Democrats but on the Republicans who flinched first….
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