You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Obama’s charm strategy won’t work with Republicans

FROM THE RIGHT: DEFICIT REDUCTION


The media love optics and no one understands this better than President Obama.

Thus, he invited a gang of Republican senators to din-dins at the swank Jefferson Hotel, one of the city’s more discreet gathering places.

Upon exiting, senators were greeted by a hungry throng of reporters, their appetites whetted no doubt by the cold. How was it? What happened? Did you bond?

Sen. John McCain gave a thumbs up. Others ranted post-mortem interviews. And the world was glad.

Could a Grand Bargain be far away?

Hey, it was a free meal.

Indeed, the president picked up the tab, a gesture of generosity or, one might speculate, a tiny deposit on a big investment, the returns of which are already rolling in: The media extrapolation that the president is extending an olive branch to his adversaries in search of a solution.

Not to be cynical, but does anyone really suppose that a Republican congressman or senator is going to go against the party because Obama gave him a call? The president is charming, all will concede. And his smile, such a delightful reward, tempts one to, well, give a thumbs up. It was fun. It was delicious. But read my wine-stained lips: No new taxes.

“It was nothing but a PR move,” says one insider. “Obama wants to run against obstructionist Republicans. The fact of the matter is, unless something really bad happens, there’s no reason for them [Republicans] at this point to cave on taxes. Why would John Boehner ever cave on taxes at this point?”

As for Boehner’s endorsement of the president’s strategy to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans, this is what one does with lemons. It’s called lemonade.

Bottom line — the only long-term deficit reduction involves serious entitlement reform, which everyone knows and Democrats don’t want to do. Cutting transportation budgets or Head Start, as the sequester has done, takes care of about, oh, two days of deficit. Republicans are not going to budge on taxes without real entitlement reform.

This is not news. Boehner has said as much countless times.

Where does this leave us? Anything can happen, but it is no stretch to imagine a stalemate until a clarifying 2014 election.

By then, the stakes will be clearer.

Despite a positive jobs report, unemployment is still at 7.7 percent.

Also, the real pain of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will have kicked in by then, including about $1 trillion in new taxes — from higher insurance premiums to a 2.3 percent levy on medical-device companies that will trickle down to patients.

Finally, many employers will have begun pushing employees into insurance exchanges because it will be cheaper to pay government fines, thus revealing a big-ish inconsistency: Obama’s promise that everyone can keep the insurance they have and like. They can as long as their employer is on board, but many companies won’t be because they can’t afford the higher cost.

Obamacare, which is predicted to add 15 million (or more) new people to the Medicaid rolls, is the elephant in the room and no one’s budging. Which means there likely will be no significant entitlement reform. Which means there will be no tax increases. And no yellow-brick middle road is going to get us there between now and the midterm elections.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Flash Flood Watch for parts of Miami Valley until 11 AM

Showers and storms giving way to partly sunny skies Saturday Breezy and warmer on Sunday More rain and turning cooler to start the work week Today: Scattered showers and storms this morning. An isolated storm possible in the afternoon. Otherwise partly sunny skies are expected in the afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s. More showers/storms...
Young ballet dancers meet idol Misty Copeland
Young ballet dancers meet idol Misty Copeland

A group of young ballerinas from a Chicago dance troupe received a thrill of a lifetime when they appeared on Steve Harvey’s talk show Friday, the Huffington Post reported. >> Read more trending news The ballerinas from the Mayfair Performance Company on Chicago’s south side were surprised and delighted when Harvey introduced...
Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Ciara welcome baby girl
Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Ciara welcome baby girl

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, pop singer Ciara, welcomed their daughter, Sienna Princess Wilson, who was born Friday night, ESPN reported. >> Read more trending news Sienna weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, according to Ciara’s Instagram post. It's the couple's first child together, CNN reported. They...
Dumpster-diving woman turns trash into cash
Dumpster-diving woman turns trash into cash

When school loans loom, post-college graduates have to make up ways to earn money to pay them off. >> Read more trending news So a Texas woman goes Dumpster diving to find makeup, and then sells it to help pay those loans, WGN reported. Shelbi, who did not provide her last name, works full time in environmental regulations. At night, she...
Texas parents concerned about bathroom cameras in park
Texas parents concerned about bathroom cameras in park

Concerned parents are questioning why cameras were installed in a public restroom at a Texas park. >> Read more trending news Patrick McGrath thought teenagers were joking about security video cameras mounted inside the bathrooms at the Springtown Park, until he saw them for himself, KDFW reported. "To see who's going in is what they're...
More Stories