It is fine by us if Obama and the Democrats give no ground, if giving ground means more breaks to the rich and more cuts to the poor. That is what Republicans are proposing, so in this case – NO compromise on core values!
A Wednesday meeting between President Obama and House Republicans about the nation’s debt ended with neither side showing a willingness to give ground on any substantive points or rhetorical differences.
Obama is pressing Republicans to agree to a deal that would raise the federal limit on borrowing and curb the growth of the nation’s debt. But in exchange for raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit, Republicans are demanding that the president agree to spending cuts —particularly to Medicare — far larger than he is prepared to accept.
Obama will send Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet with House freshmen, who have been the most reluctant to raise the debt ceiling and the most insistent on sizable spending cuts. Geithner has said thatthe government could default on its obligations if the limit is not increased.
Obama and Geithner’s meetings with lawmakers are happening at the same time that Vice President Biden is leading a working group that may represent the best hope for a bipartisan deal. Biden has said that his group will find “well above $1 trillion” in cuts.
Several hours after the White House meeting, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested that the talks were not moving quickly enough to avoid a cliffhanger showdown in early August.
“The issues they’re dealing with have to be dealt with. They are making some marginal progress, but at the rate that that’s gone, we’ll be right up against the wall,” he told reporters in his Capitol suite.
The most dramatic moment of Wednesday’s 75-minute meeting came when Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the man behind the GOP’s budget plan, said Obama is playing politics in the debt debate. He accused the president of mischaracterizing the GOP budget proposal as turning Medicare into a “voucher” program that would hurt seniors. Ryan’s comments earned him a standing ovation from his colleagues.
“It’s been misdescribed by the president and many others,” Ryan said at the White House after the meeting. “I just said . . . that if ‘we demagogue each other at the leadership level, then we’re never going to take on our debt.’ ”
According to people familiar with the meeting, Obama replied that both sides have demagogued the debt issue. He told the Republicans that they’ve been guilty of playing politics, too, with their attacks on the “job killing” health-care law.
Obama told Ryan that he thinks the congressman is sincere but that the two parties have fundamental philosophical differences. He said that the Republican plan to restructure Medicare would not bring down the cost of treatment but instead shift costs to seniors.
Read the full story from Washington Post.