If Obama Wins, the Calendar Breaks the Deadlock

If Obama wins, it will be a whole new ballgame with the GOP and their obstructionism, not because they will see the light, but because they will see the calendar.  Those who wonder what will light a fire under the House GOP if he’s re-elected need to recognize the greatly-increased power and bargaining position he will have.

From “November 7th, Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine:

“Obama does have a plan to break the legislative impasse and settle the long-term struggle over the scope of government.

[O]n January 1, 2013, we will all awake to a different, substantially more liberal country.  The Bush tax cuts will have disappeared, restoring Clinton-era tax rates and flooding government coffers with revenue to fund its current operations for years to come.  The military will be facing dire budget cuts that shake the military-industrial complex to its core.

“At that point [Obama] will reside in a political world he finds at most mildly uncomfortable and the Republicans consider a hellish dystopia.  Then he’ll be ready to make a deal.

“Administration officials no longer say that they can cajole Republicans into agreeing to raise tax revenue through negotiation.  Instead, they understand something important…. They no longer have to.

“What really lured Republicans into a trap was the timing of the arrangement.  The beginning of 2013, when the automatic spending cuts take effect, coincides with the expiration of every penny of the Bush tax cuts.  And so, by postponing the fiscal reckoning, Republicans inadvertently scheduled it for the very moment when Obama (should he win reelection) will hold his maximum leverage.  Last summer, Obama was pleading with Boehner to give him $800 billion in additional revenue.  Come January, he’ll have $5 trillion in higher revenue without doing anything.”  Emphasis added.

Happy New Year, GOP!



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