Obama fails to impress House GOP at WH meeting
President Obama told House Republicans that tax rates were higher during the Reagan years than they are now.
Must be nice to be president and able to change history whenever you want to. Obama is very good at it. His narrative of how we got into this deficit mess leaves off the part where he initiated $5 trillion in new spending, skirts the fact that he didn't even bother to submit a budget last year, and totally ignores the fact that his trillion dollar stimulus bill cost the country 500,000 jobs.
Is he surprised that the GOP House members at his White House meeting today weren't impressed?
The president agreed that job growth needs to be a priority, saying that he is all for tax reform and happy to work together to achieve it. The president said the U.S. has the lowest tax rate as a percentage of GDP since the 1950s. We've been on an experiment of low tax rates for the last decade, and growth has been anemic, he said. He noted that cutting taxes is smart to do politically, but the question is whether it is sustainable .
The president added that he is all for a reduction of demagoguery, an issue he understands since he is the 'job killing, death panel, probably-wasn't-born-here president.'
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told the president that Republicans won't negotiate with themselves. The president's budget outline he offered in his April budget speech at George Washington University did not include enough specifics for the CBO to score it. From our impression, he said, if a plan is not scoreable by CBO, we don't view it as a plan, he said. We need real accountability.
He challenged the President to agree to principles that budget details should be scoreable and that real entitlement reform is needed.
The president agreed that progress was made in avoiding a government shutdown by finding some short term cuts, and he agreed that anything "we agree to" needs to be scored. Entitlements will have to be part of solution, he said, and he instructed his team to look into it, saying he told his team to have a serious conversation about it.
Obama will not hold to his promise of including real entitlement reform in his proposal, nor is it likely to be detailed enough for the CBO to score it. He will allow the Republicans to go out on a limb on entitlements and then saw it off. That's his re-election strategy and the deficit be damned.
Will any of this lead to a deal? Yes, but nowhere near what we need to cut and the GOP too will probably play the smoke and mirrors game. Nobody wants to anger seniors going into a general election. Real deficit reduction must await 2013 and a hoped for GOP majority in both the House and Senate with a Republican sitting in the White House.