Much was made last week of President Obama’s gesture of reaching out to Republicans. The thing is, he didn’t mean any of what he told them. He’s not planning to work out any sort of agreement. It was all a PR stunt.
Some eighteen hours before he was scheduled to meet with House Republicans on Capitol Hill Wednesday, ostensibly in search of a “grand bargain” that would reform entitlements and reverse the trajectory of US debt, Barack Obama declared three times that he U.S. does not have a debt crisis and accused opponents of wanting to “gut Medicare, gut Social Security and gut Medicaid.”
In a taped interview with ABC News, Obama told George Stephanopolous: “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it’s going to be in a sustainable place.”
The main reason there will be no grand bargain: The president will not take the political risks necessary to address an issue that he doesn’t regard as urgent. His party opposes reforming entitlements. He apparently views Republican plans to address long-term debt as attempts to “gut” these programs. A grand bargain was never a possibility without entitlement reform. Why would the president challenge his party’s liberal base, a constituency his advisers believe is the key to winning back Congress in 2014, in order to implement policies he opposes to address an issue he doesn’t regard as urgent? (Read More)
A White House aide even said that his meeting with Republicans was a joke, done for the sake of the media.