When, then Senator Barack Obama campaigned for the office of the president in 2008, Republicans accused him of running against George W. Bush. This was because Mr. Obama compared all of his opponent’s policies to the unpopular president, suggesting that a vote for John McCain would result in re-electing Mr. Bush.
One of the ways Mr. Obama proved this point was to show Americans that there was no difference between the Bush Tax policies and those of McCain. Barack Obama was against these taxes, which amounted to giving more money to the rich in hopes that they would create more jobs, better known as Trickle-Down Economics. These policies were considered part of the reason the American economy had into a recession, and Mr. Obama campaigned vigorously against them.
After defeating John McCain and being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States in January 2009, President Obama faced a Republican Party with one main goal in mind – his defeat, making him a one term president. Collectively, Congressional Republicans said “no” to everything, from Healthcare reform to issues they were once for, like tax cuts. In their efforts to defeat the newly elected President, Republicans managed to slow down and in some cases, reverse some of the economic progress the Obama administration had made.
After winning control of the House of Representatives on a promise of jobs creation, Republicans were now even closer to fulfilling their number one priority of defeating the President. Not only did they simply say “no” to the President’s policies, but they now had the ability to control the policies that came up for votes on the floor of the House of Representatives. Their plan was in full swing and they knew it.
Then came December 2010 and the Bush Tax cuts that President Obama campaigned against, were set to expire. With unemployment hovering around 10% and unemployment benefits running out, Republicans played their hand well, and demanded that the newly elected President go back on his campaign promise and continue the Bush Taxes. The negotiations began, the deals were made and the President walked up to the microphone and announced that in order to get a continuation of some unemployment benefits, he agreed to continue the cuts. This was a win for Republicans which meant a major loss for the President.
Fast-forward to July 21st, 2011. The issue is the debt ceiling and Republicans chose to use what has become a tradition, a norm in American politics – raising the debt ceiling – to establish their next fight against the President.
Like his predecessors, Mr. Obama wants to implement policies that he feels will make the country better. And for that reason, he continually asked for bipartisanship from both parties. He insists that both parties must work together to solve America’s problems.
And therein lies the problem.
With a Republican party that is determined to see him fail, working together to solve problems is not on their agenda. But the President and Democrats continue to negotiate, continues to look for ways to solve this manufactured debt ceiling crisis that Republicans have created.
The President would like a deal. He wants a long-term plan before the August 2nd deadline that would include a combination of spending cuts along with revenue increases to bring down the deficit. Republicans want all spending cuts with no revenue increase, because doing so would require some taxes and some of the corporate loopholes the rich have enjoyed and profited from for decades, to change. The Democrats are so willing to get this deal done, that they’ve even put “The Big 3”- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – on the table. These services, which benefit the poor and middle class, have been a target for Republicans since the 60’s.
Even with the “Big 3” and a proposed $4 trillion spending cut, Republicans walked away from the table. No deal!
In a blatant attempt to appear concerned about whether America is able to raise the debt ceiling and pay its bills, House Republicans this week voted and approved a new bill called “Cut, Cap and Balance.” This new bill would add an amendment to the Constitution and require the government to cut spending, cap future spending, and balance the budget.
Of course, with the largest economy in the world trying to recover from a recession and with unemployment presently around 9.1%, economists agree that this measure by Republicans will surly spiral the economy back into another recession/depression. The president has promised to veto the bill if it passes the Senate.
But because of Obama’s very nature and his insistence on compromise and bipartisanship, even Republicans are calling Mr. Obama’s veto threat a bluff. One may even go as far as to say that they are daring President Obama to veto the bill. Mr. Tom Coburn, the Republican representative for Oklahoma had this to say;
“This is the only viable plan right now that will do, and I will bet you a porterhouse steak that, if it lands on his desk, he’ll sign that puppy!”
“The president said he’d never take a short-term increase. What did they say yesterday? He’d take a short-term increase. That’s how good his veto threat is.
“He’s going to do what’s necessary to fix this country, and if he gets presented this bill, he’s gonna sign it!”
Other Republicans are saying things along those same lines. Senator Jim DeMint calls the House bill “the only one that can be passed before the August 2nd deadline,” and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said “the political reality in this place is subject to changing on a dime.”
Yes, Congressional Republicans are pompous. They are still the minority, controlling only the House of Representatives while Democrats control the Senate and the White House. But this minority has reasons to be pompous. Unlike the last president, Mr. Obama wants this economy to flourish. He wants all Americans – the middle class and the rich – to prosper. But because of his flaw in thinking and need to compromise, this president has shown that he will go back on his words if the appearance of seeming bipartisan exists.
Time and time again,this president has exhibited the willingness to reach across the political aisle, and grab hold of the hand of the Republican Party who operate in one mode only – as his political assassins.
Are they correct? If this bill – which is considered worst than the Paul Ryan Plan – makes its way to the President’s desk, will he “sign that puppy?”
Yes, he will.
Another bullet from the assassins!0