No "kicking the can down the road" says Obama on the debt ceiling. He wants tax increases in any deal and he will default on the debt rather than give in on this issue.
President Obama made an unscheduled appearance today before reporters to say that some progress has been made in the deeply divided negotiations over the nation's debt ceiling, and "greater progress is in sight."
But he cautioned, there is still a long way to go: "I don't want to fool anybody, we still have to work through our differences."
Obama was adamant that he is not looking for a short term solution to the nation's debt crisis, a solution he said would merely be "kicking the can down the road."
"Right now we have a unique opportunity to do something big to tackle our deficit in a way that forces our government to live within our means," Obama said.
Forcing the government to live within its means would be a nice change from the previous 2 1/2 years.
Meanwhile, Harry Reid is demogoguing the issue to death:
"My Republican colleagues have walked away from the negotiating table when we were nearing a solution and so close to disaster," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. "Why? To protect oil companies. To protect the owners of yachts and corporate jets. To protect corporations that ship jobs overseas. To protect millionaires and billionaires from paying their fair share."
Except, as Politico points out, the cuts Reid is skewering the GOP for not making don't amount to a hill of beans:
The reality is that yacht and jet provisions add up to very little - hardly a hill to government bean counters - and they're certainly not the magic key that will unlock a deal to raise the nation's debt limit.
Cuts to oil company subsidies could bring in between $20 billion and $40 billion over 10 years, taxing hedge fund managers' earnings as regular income would amount to roughly $20 billion more over a decade, and the much-heralded jet tax would yield an additional $3 billion, according to various estimates from Democratic and Republican sources.
It is hard to cut the budget when the other side simply isn't serious about the extent and breadth of the problem.