“White House officials were firm on Monday that President Barack Obama would not negotiate” over attaching needed spending cuts and reforms to debt limit legislation, says Reuters.
“Nope, nope, nope,” a senior administration official told The Hill. The president’s “not budging. Not this time.”
“Okay,” you’re probably thinking – “we get it. The president will negotiate with Russian president Vladimir Putin but not with Republicans.”
But why is that? Democrats have tried a few excuses – for example (paraphrasing here):
EXCUSE #1: “NEGOTIATING WITH REPUBLICANS WOULD SET A BAD PRECEDENT”
“He won’t negotiate,” Obama economic advisor Gene Sperling said at a POLITICO event, because the president “believes that if he were to negotiate over the debt limit … it would set a bad precedent …”
But the precedent’s already been set: presidents and Congresses of both parties have attached reforms to debt limit legislation ever since there’s been a debt limit. It’s been the vehicle for every major deficit reduction effort for 30 years. So the only bad precedent here would be set by a president that’s unwilling to negotiate to address our debt, strengthen our economy, and prevent a default.
EXCUSE #2: “WE WON’T NEGOTIATE UNTIL THE SHUTDOWN ENDS”
The White House claimed “President Barack Obama won’t negotiate” with Republicans until the federal government has re-opened, says Roll Call. But efforts by Republicans to re-open the government face the same obstacle as efforts to address our debt and deficits: Democrats won’t negotiate.
“The Democrats… are enjoying themselves” during their shutdown, says Carl Cannon.
In fact, Senate Democrats insist – like the White House – that “there’s no need for conversations” on ending their shutdown. They’ve blocked multiple efforts to fund the government and provide fairness for all under the president’s flailing health care law. And senior Obama administration officials boasted that “it doesn’t really matter” to them how long the shutdown lasts because they’re “winning.”
EXCUSE #3: “WE WON’T NEGOTIATE WITH ANARCHO-KIDNAPPING TERRORISTS”
The sad rhetoric being used by Democrats aside, the facts are simple: more than $6 trillion has been added to the debt under President Obama. And 61 percent of the American people disagree with the president’s “no-negotiating position,” and want spending cuts and reforms attached to the debt limit.
And the clock is ticking – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNN “that on the 17th, we run out of our ability to borrow.” Unless the White House would rather default then negotiate – and cause “an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen” – they’re out of excuses.
“The American people expect when their leaders have differences, and we’re in a time of crisis, we’ll sit down and at least have a conversation,” Speaker John Boehner said on the House floor. “Mr. President, it’s time to have that conversation before our economy is put further at risk.”