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The Wednesday Outlook


Pres. Obama today called out Congress for failing to pursue a meaningful jobs plan, for defending big oil and private jets and for blocking measures they once supported because helping the economy might bolster the president's political fortunes. Talking Points Memo has a good writeup showing just how dramatic the GOP reversal has been -- now that the policies they once backed might help the president.

All of this, of course, is coming to a head because Republicans are trying to use the Aug. 2nd deadline for raising the debt ceiling -- in order to make further economy-destroying cuts. And resisting efforts by Democrats to attach economy-boosting spending and/or revenue increases. And today there comes word that Democrats are considering whether they can raise the debt limit without Congress. Why? Because the Constitution prohibits default -- which means Congress shouldn't have the power to cap debt. And yes, I get that this solution -- if it is one -- has the appeal of preventing the Republicans from extorting further measures that damage the economy. But it would put Democrats on the hook all alone for raising the debt ceiling -- and you can bet the GOP will accuse them of doing so illegally, if not unconstitutionally. Republican leaders have already acknowledged that the debt ceiling has to be raised. All that Democrats have to do is say they won't raise it with any new spending cuts attached. Period. Which do Republican leaders fear more -- the fickle, manipulable pique of the Tea Party or the unholy wrath of Wall Street? It seems to me that's a question worth answering.

Follow Senior Producer Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) on Twitter