Obama just held his third press conference in two weeks, and he’s still pushing for the big deal which includes increased taxes, and still playing the class warfare card very hard. Given the past two and one-half years, we definitely are in fantasy land where the worst offender now is the prosecutor.
Here are some quick quotes and notes:
“This should have been dealt with earlier….”
This could end up with interest rates rising for everyone “as a consequence of a default.”
“I’m glad that Congressional leaders don’t want to default ….” We have “a unique opportunity to do something big … if we’re willing to seize the moment. What is required is shared sacrifice and a balanced approach … it also requires cuts in defense spending … hundreds of billions more … [and] cuts in Medicare … and it would require revenue….”
“Millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more … so that corporate jet owners aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks.”
“My hope is that they’re listening not just to lobbyists and special interests but to the American people….”
“You need over the next 24-36 hours as to what the plan is to get the debt ceiling raised and to show me a plan” to deal with the deficit long term. “If they show me a serious plan, then I’m prepared to move.”
That last part of his prepared statement seems like a clear signal that Obama will not call his own bluff.
In response to questions:
“We should make sure that current beneficiaries [of Medicare and Social Security] are not affected” and that any cuts are in the out years, but not willing to “voucherize” the program. “Making some modest modifications” in those programs can save trillions of dollars, “that include on the provider side…. Drug companies are doing quite well under Medicare.”
“You’ll probably see the House vote on a couple of things to make political statements.” Not willing to cut $2.4 trillion without revenue increases. Says 80% of the American people support a “balanced approach.”
As to balanced budget amendment, said it was not necessary, but dodged the issue of whether he would oppose it as part of a deal. “We just need to make tough choices and take on our bases.”
“We’re not Greece, we’re not Portugal. Problem is we cut taxes without paying for them…” then went through prescription drug program, wars, etc all the things from prior to his administration that caused the problem. Didn’t address deficits during his administration.
We only need to make “modest adjustments” to get our house in order.
The net-net of all this — Obama will not call his own bluff. Looks like this is heading to more modest spending cuts than Republicans want with none of the tax increases Obama wants.