Harry Reid's response to the Boehner Bill quite naturally gives President Obama what he needs to continue his spending a quarter of the GNP.
Alexander Bolton and Josiah Ryan of The Hill explain:
Reid would give the president almost unilateral power to raise the debt limit, borrowing an idea introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Reid would have President Obama request a $2.4 trillion debt-limit increase in two installments of $1.2 trillion each. The requests would be subject to congressional resolutions of disapproval, but these would do little to restrict the president.
Obama could veto any resolution of disapproval, and it would take a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override him.
Of course, the bill has the normal (and bipartisan) stupid accounting tricks, because they assume we are fools:
Reid also increased the total level of spending cuts from $2.2 trillion to $2.4 trillion, in part by using the January baseline - a budget maneuver House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) used on a previous version of his debt-limit plan. The January budget baseline does not count cuts Congress implemented in legislation passed this spring to avert a government shutdown.
So far, the only GOP senator expressing support is Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who faces an election in 2012 in a very liberal state. He gets to call himself a maverick, and that should help him retain his seat. We'll see if any other GOP senators follow. I hope not, but worry about Maine.