POLITICS

Morning Examiner: Obama’s alternative history

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

“Scarred by failed negotiations in his first term” President Obama has become a “disciplined and unyielding” negotiator The New York Times reports on its front page today. “In his first four years in office, Mr. Obama has repeatedly offered what he considered compromises on stimulus spending, health care and deficit reduction to Republicans, who either rejected them as inadequate or pocketed them and insisted on more,” The Times reports.

“When he crafted a stimulus spending program to bolster the economy shortly after taking office,” The Times continues, “Mr. Obama devoted roughly a third of the money to tax cuts that he assumed Republicans would like. They did not.” “If you already have a third of the package as tax cuts,” Obama is quoted in the story, “Then the Republicans, who traditionally are more comfortable with tax cuts, may just pocket that and attack the other components of the program.”

Which would be a nice story to bolster the president’s case if it were true. Except it is not. As Bob Woodward recounts in his book “The Price of Politics,” just three days after his inauguration then-Minority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., came to the White House with a list of five specific tax cuts that Republicans were prepared to support as part of a stimulus package. Obama rejected all five.

“I can go it alone,” Obama told Cantor at the time.”Look at the polls. The polls are pretty good for me right now. Elections have consequences. And Eric, I won.” Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was even more frank: “We have the votes. F–k ‘em.”

There is nothing new about Obama’s negotiating tactics. They are the exact same today as they were when he was first elected. He expects to get everything he wants and is not willing to make any concessions to Republicans. It is not difficult to tell where this style of leadership will take us.

“I think we’re going over the cliff,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday. Unless Obama learns some humility, that is exactly where we are headed.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: No more meddling international bureaucrats
Michael Barone: American men find careers in collecting disability
Mark Tapscott: Jeff Miller could be MVP in Congress
Tim Carney: Obama gives 83% of export loan guarantees to Boeing
Phil Klein: The one deduction worth breaking the anti-tax pledge over
Joel Gehrke: Lawmakers fear Kathleen Sebelius taking aim at natural gas boom

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Ad-Spending Outlook Dims: Three big ad companies are revising down their projections for 2013 global ad spending growth, citing economic troubles in Europe and lackluster conditions in the U.S., among other factors.
The Washington Post, Fiscal cliff talks at a stalemate over tax hikes: As the White House and Republican leaders enter the final month of negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff,” both sides struck an uncompromising tone Sunday, as warnings mounted that they will be unable to forge an agreement to stop an automatic series of deep spending cuts and large tax hikes that could push the economy into recession.
The New York Times, Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza: Texas gives out more of the incentives than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Righty Playbook
Keith Hennessey advises Republicans to call Obama’s bluff on the fiscal cliff.
Ross Douthat on the birthrate and America’s future.
James Capretta and Yuval Levin on The GOP’s Payroll Tax Opportunity.

Lefty Playbook
The Huffington Post attacks Walmart for dumping their employees into Obamacare.
The Washington Post reports that the government will charge 3.5 percent fee for selling insurance through Obamacare.
Think Progress worries that 2.4 Million Pounds carbon were released every second in 2011.

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