Obama insists on no negotiations over debt limit
This is a strange position to hold. Most voters understand that the debt limit has always been a source of negotiations - even when Democrats ran the House. And given that cutting the budget is very popular, it would appear that if Obama thinks he's standing on principle in not negotiating, it's not going to win him any points with the people.
President Barack Obama warned Republicans in Congress on Monday that he will not negotiate over an extension of the U.S. debt ceiling as part of a budget battle that will soon dominate Washington, with a deadline fast approaching.
The U.S. Treasury is expected to exhaust measures to avoid exceeding the $16.7 trillion debt limit as soon as mid-October. If the cap is not raised, the United States will not be able to pay all of its bills and would go into default.
Pivoting to domestic policy after devoting weeks to the crisis in Syria, Obama scolded his political opponents for threatening a federal government shutdown and attempting to attach conditions to funding the budget for the 2014 fiscal year that begins October 1.
"Let's stop the threats. Let's stop the political posturing. Let's keep our government open. Let's pay our bills on time. Let's pass a budget," Obama said.
In a speech marking five years of the start of the financial crisis that sent Wall Street teetering, the U.S. banking system to the brink of collapse and the economy into recession, Obama said much progress had been made in rebuilding the economy but much more remains to be done.
He faces yet another budget showdown as Republicans in Congress attempt to force more spending cuts and remove funding for Obama's signature achievement, the 2010 healthcare law that is facing a rocky rollout.
The fight threatens to become a replay of a 2011 budget showdown that barely headed off what would have been a historic default on the U.S. debt over Republicans' refusal to raise the debt limit.
Obama spoke on the day that a gunman killed 12 people at Washington's Navy Yard before being killed himself.
"It's a shame that the president could not manage to rise above partisanship today," said the top Republican in Washington, John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives. "Instead, he should be working in a bipartisan way to address America's spending problem, the way president of both parties have done before."
The only explanation that makes sense is that Obama wants the government to default, believing he will end up blameless. It's a riverboat gamble, no matter what the polls say, and if the GOP plays it right, could end up dooming the Democrats to a big defeat in 2014.
All Republicans have to do is show how Democrats forced Bush to negotiate over the debt limit. It's a strange time for Obama to get religion about the "full faith and credit" of the US when Democrats held the reins in the House and negotiated with Obama's predecessor over budget priorities and war spending. For all the acrimony at that time, both sides sat down and hammered out a compromise - something apparently foreign to Obama's nature.
This could be Obama's arrogance getting the best of him.