Calling out the GOP on debt talks


Tonight, Eugene Robinson and David Frum join us at the top of the show to discuss the latest in debt negotiations. President Obama gave a few remarks today on the progress of talks, emphasizing the need to come up with a longer-term solution on the debt ceiling.

Obama invited lawmakers to the White House on Thursday to continue negotiations. But will House Republicans play along?

An interesting new article in The New York Times by rightie columnist David Brooks actually calls out the GOP for its blanketed refusal to compromise:

Many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.

A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

This article will frame part of our A-block tonight. Tune in at 8pm ET for the larger discussion.

Debt and Barack Obama

Calling out the GOP on debt talks