Four more Years of Obama Will be Every Bit as Bad as Feared

Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as the leader of the United States today, giving us a first glimpse as to what four more years under Obama might look like.

Brad Dayspring, a senior advisor to YG Action Fund, a conservative super PAC, tweeted, “Let me translate: the era of Big Government is back.”

In other words, our worst fears are  being realized.

For months leading up to the election, conservative pundits and talk show hosts attempted to relay to the public the dire need to get out from underneath the onerous burdens of a liberal agenda.

Already, Obama and his liberal cohorts have raised taxes on anyone with a job, thousands of dollars for working class families.

Additional tax revenues will only be in the $60 billion range and 75% of new taxes will go to new spending projects.

Deficits solved right?

President Obama touched on global climate change, gay rights, entitlements and gun control, the liberal boondoggle quadrangle.

Barack Obama, unfettered by the need to tack to the center for political point-scoring in an attempt to get re-elected, is showing his true colors. All of those Democrats who defended Obama as a moderate – as opposed to the socialist most of us know him to be – will have be in a precarious position once the POTUS starts pushing his agenda further and further to the left.

And let’s be very serious about this: he absolutely will.

Obama has every intention of pushing forward with the continued spend and borrow habits that lead to the U.S. credit downgrade and trillions in deficits. He will continue to fund programs at taxpayer expense that have no net benefit to the American people, or are heinously disorganized and inefficient.

He believes in big government for the sake of big government and big government is what we’ll get unless the Republicans can wrestle the majority in the Senate away from the left.

Even so, the Democrats will have two years of leverage to push through whatever agenda they deem fit. It’s how we got ObamaCare, the only piece of major reform in the last century passed without a single bi-partisan vote.

Inflation remains a concern, unemployment has government costs soaring as people collect their food stamps, unemployment insurance and Medicaid supplies, all while investors remain wary of tax increases as Obama has made it quite clear he plans to take out businesses at the knees.

Taxes will go up again and businesses will respond by cutting jobs. The implementation of ObamaCare will cost millions more their jobs as companies fight off rising costs. Rising debts will stunt the strength of the U.S. dollar and our economy in markets around the world.

Obama’s support for unified labor will continue to bleed taxpayers despite the fact that schools aren’t getting any better and our students aren’t getting any better prepared for college.

As a first-term president, Obama was petulant, stubborn and uncompromising. How do you expect him to act when he’s not facing re-election and is concerned only with his own legacy? No president, perhaps in history, is a more self-absorbed and self-promoting leader than Barack Obama.

Furthermore, he’s shown he just doesn’t get it. In his speech, Obama took a shot at Paul Ryan in saying, ” The commitments we make to each other — Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

It’s utterly incoherent. How do welfare programs free us to take risks when the people paying to take risks are also the ones paying for the social programs? The only people social programs “free” are the people who don’t have to work or take risks. What Obama lays out is all well and good except for it being completely false.

What can we expect from Obama’s second term? More of the same. And that’s exactly what we spent the last four years worried about.

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Democrats have perverted tax system to hide their failures of fiscal responsibility

Republicans tell you that we have this fiscal cliff problem because the government spends too much. Democrats say the issue is tax revenues.

They’re both half-right.

Truly, the issue with the massive deficits and debt the U.S. government has created is in the very formula with which government spending arises.

In short, we’ve lost sight of why it is we have taxes.

As part of the social contract, dating back thousands of years, the people agree to give up certain freedoms in exchange for things like protection and the management of otherwise unmanageable resources.

In the old days, we had kings and fiefdoms and other monarchical, oppressive taxation systems. But then we created this thing called democracy. It was beautiful and wonderful because the people got a say.

Once a monetary system evolved and true governments came about, it became clear that in order to fund government, we’d need to pay for it somehow.

Hence the creation of taxes.

But governments, at least the U.S. government, doesn’t set up its budget based on its revenues like every other budget created by any one else for any reason whatsoever.

That’s because it controls its own revenue in the form of taxes. In other words, revenues can be whatever the government says.

This idea of “fairness” in taxation is entirely new, not to mention entirely fabricated by President Obama and the left. The government needs X dollars to function, then taxes should be Y. That’s how this system should work, it just doesn’t.

Obama’s leftist, wealth re-distribution notion that paying over a third of one’s income is somehow unfair (even though we have a progressive tax system) is inherently flawed.

That’s not how government works, nor is it how taxation ought to work.

But there are two major problems preventing us from having a system that actually makes sense. The first is that once budget allocations are made for programs, they’re nearly impossible to erase. If you spend the money, you get it again the next year, usually including a several percentage bump.

For years, the government has actually advertised for social services like food stamps because they hadn’t spent their full allocation and they were in danger of losing funding if they didn’t spend all of their allotments.

State government, for example, passes multiple-year budgets – usually biennial budgets. Taxes are based on the budget, not some arbitrary idea of fairness.

If the state has reduced its spending or increased its inefficiencies, taxes can go down. Likewise, if the state has drawn higher than expected corporate taxes or other fees, then income taxes can fall. This is happening right now in Wisconsin after Scott Walker’s brave budget lead to a (wait for it) surplus!

Property taxes work in a similar way. Local governments set budgets and then based on the value of your house, you pay a rate. It’s a progressive system that makes people with better houses pay more – usually these people are more wealthy. Everyone accepts this is how the world ought to work.

Then why doesn’t the federal government work the same way? Well, the first problem is they don’t pass budgets. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget since Barack Obama took office, so how can we possibly know how much we need? Without knowing how much spending we’re doing, we can’t know how much revenue to take in.

Likewise, our deficits are growing and our debts have burgeoned, something we don’t allow local and state governments to do. They have to have balanced budgets and their debts need to be below a certain percentage of their total revenues in a given time period.

Taxing along arbitrary lines allows the government to spend along those same arbitrary lines. It also precludes any sort of fiscal responsibility because there’s no guideline for budget-makers. That’s why, under the watch of Democrats, we have record debt, record deficits, and truly insane spending. By talking about taxing the rich, the left can obfuscate the reality that their view of taxation is an imaginary one. A canard.

There will be a resolution to the fiscal cliff, but because it won’t involve fundamental tax reform, it won’t solve anything related to our budget problems. What’s more, the Democrats admit that raising taxes on the rich won’t solve our deficit problems when 70% of those new tax dollars will go to new spending.

Democrats have no leg to stand on, no political ideology to point to when they talk about the “fairness” of the tax code because taxes are about balancing revenues and expenditures. They’ve shown no willingness to even begin to address that discrepancy and no plan they put forward can be taken seriously until that changes.

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Getting the facts straight in gun violence discussion

We cannot pretend the solution to gun violence in this country is easy, but we should likewise come to the understanding that just because the problem is complex doesn’t mean we ought to do nothing.

I’m not sure what stricter gun laws would have done to prevent the killings in Newtown or Aurora. They wouldn’t have stopped Jovan Belcher from killing the mother of his children before taking his own life.

When the Aurora movie theater shooting happened, I wondered aloud what people thought the solution should be. I implored people to be deliberate in their thinking and to not jump to the obvious strawmen of movies, music and violent video games.

Connecticut had created a law that mirrored the 1994 assault rifle ban that had lapsed in Congress. The deranged shooter had a .223 caliber rifle, a massive and powerful weapon that is 100% legal. The headline of the article linked above says it all, “How do we know an ‘assault rifle’ ban would not have stopped Ryan Lanza? Because it didn’t.”

The term “assault rifle” was actually coined by anti-gun groups and as such is defined by them. Any gun can assault someone, not just rifles. The difference between what the average person might consider a “normal” rifle and an “assault” rifle is completely arbitrary. It looks scary, or its really easy to fire or its really accurate or it has a powerful shot. Those are all reasons a hunter might buy the same rifle.

‘Tough luck’ critics will say. It’s to dangerous. But hundreds of thousands of people in America own guns, more than any other place in the world in fact. Yet these mass shootings happen relatively infrequently.

In fact, they were more frequent in the 1990’s by about double and for four of those years in the 1990’s we had the assault rifle ban.

That being said, a chart like this one, showing the United States standing head and shoulders above the world in gun-homicide rate while likewise having by far the most guns seems to be a pretty convincing argument that there’s a problem.

On the other hand, the second two charts (also from Business Insider) here paint a different picture. Yes, the United States has the highest number of guns-per-person by an enormous margin, our murder rate per 100,000 people is only slightly higher than other civilized nations.

It’s easy to skew the axis to make the numbers look much worse, but the first chart and the third are literally identical, only the first chart leaves off a host of non-industrialized nations. It also skews the bottom axis.

The United States has just less than 90 guns for every 100,000 people. It  has about three homicides for every 100,000 people. That’s about one homicide for every 30 guns.

Italy has about 10 guns for every 100,000 people and about .8 homicides per 100,000 people. Just round the homicide number slightly and that’s about three as many homicides per gun than the United States and we hardly think of Italy as a violent nation. Just lowering the number of guns in the U.S. isn’t the solution.

In fact, violent crime has steadily declined for more than a generation.

All that not withstanding, there are things we could be doing differently. As Chris Rock famously joked, we don’t need gun control, we need bullet control.

The comedian was talking about making bullets extremely expensive, but a real solution could be found in tightening laws on expended clips. No civilian, for any reason, needs a gun magazine with 30 rounds in it. You’re not going hunting for dinosaurs.

Even the NRA is in favor of some tighter background checks and the gun show loophole needs to be changed as a considerable number of guns sold in this country are done so without checks and registrations at legal gun shows.

Gun-advocates need to be heard on issues like gun bans. There’s no question these violent killers target areas where other people can’t defend themselves. Nearly every major instance of mass gun violence in the last 20 years has taken place in areas where it’s illegal to carry guns. In other words, where it’s impossible for anyone to shoot back.

It’s as cowardly an act as can be imagined, but it’s true. The Aurora shooter had his pick of movie theaters all about equidistant from his house. He choose the one movie theater that had posted signs banning guns. Is that a coincidence? Hardly.

On the other hand, it’s ludicrous to suggest we ought to just arm teachers, although many schools, in the wake of Columbine, went to a locked door system where visitors have to be buzzed into the building. A simple glance at the security camera in a case like Newtown and it would have been easy to see the intentions of the deranged shooter.

There are actions we can take, new laws to implement. There are also cultural changes we absolutely must make and cannot ignore, from the way we deal with mental illness to the way we parent our children. Those cannot be ignored.

The media also must realize it has a responsibility. As conservative radio host Charlie Sykes noted on Twitter yesterday, Fox and CBS won’t show streakers on the field at a football game, but shoot up a school and you get wall to wall coverage with your picture all over the world.

Let’s focus on the victims and the heroes of tragedies like this one, the teachers who barricaded their classrooms and died protecting their kids. The horrifying details must be reported, but we need to rethink the way we report it.

I remember NBC facing an internal battle over whether or not to release the tape the Virginia Tech shooter sent to the network. I would have much preferred an anchor read paraphrasing what the tape said than the eventual decision to play the tape.

We are all part of the problem, but as such, can all be part of the solution. We just have to get the facts straight and that, as much as anything, has been a problem.

Violence, culture won’t change unless we do

“We’re not doing enough. We will have to change.”

They were the words of Barack Obama, but they felt like the message from a nation mired in the despair of a helpless malaise. Understanding that each of us bears some responsibility, not just to ourselves but to our nation.

I watched President Obama speak to the families of Newtown, Connecticut and felt more connected to my president than at any time since the attacks of September 11.

While nothing will fully erase the memory of failed economic policies, a hegemonic health care bill, divisive hypocritical rhetoric about taxes and the deficit, or the foreign policy disasters of the last year, Barack Obama made me forget all of those for a brief moment.

If you didn’t forget (and many on Twitter perversely decided it was a good time to make political jokes), I feel sorry for you.

Showing for the first time what a true leader looks like, Obama was compassionate, but firm, genuinely heart-broken, yet steady.

But nothing changes if we don’t. Let’s not flail around looking for scapegoats was his message. This isn’t an issue of the media as Morgan Freeman will have you believe. Violent video games aren’t to blame, nor is aggressive music or movies.

The President had the culprit correct when he named it several times: “we.”

Us.

This is our fault.

We let the NRA prevent us from banning assault rifles which no civilian could possibly need. We didn’t pay close enough attention when the extended magazine restriction hit its sunset.

We haven’t placed a premium on the mental health of our children, demanding that parents everywhere have a place to get help if they have a child who is mentally ill.

As a culture of parents, we’ve lost our way. Gone is the discipline and regimentation of our former generations, replaced with pharmaceutics remedies and video game baby-sitters.

Our parental culture, as much as anything in this country, is broken. No legislation will fix that. We have to.

My mother, an inner-city school teacher, has had conferences with the parents of struggling students, only to watch the parents berate and beat their children just outside the classroom. She’s had to call the police more than once.

Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Barack Obama said vote for “Change we can all believe in.”

Until now, we haven’t gotten the change we’ve sought because we only listened to the second guy, not the first. Voting for Barack Obama never was going to solve the problems this country faced.

We had to make sure that happened, no matter who we voted for. Too often has our president used powerful words only to fall short with his actions. We’ve suffered from the same delusion.

If Barack Obama leads us, he has a chance to follow through on his own words and those of Ghandi’s. His words Saturday make me believe he knows and understands that.

I’ve said from the first day he was introduced as a candidate that I hoped Barack Obama was the man so many thought he was. Not because of his politics, most of which I detest, but because of his potential as a uniting force in leadership. Four years in, he hasn’t even been a shadow of that leader.

He has a chance to be and because we cannot afford to wait any longer, because we can’t afford to have another Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Newtown, we need him to be.

Each of us must do the same and find out how we can help change the culture, change the laws, and yet all the while doubling down on the foundation of the United States of America.

That has never had to change. The foundation of America, a place where every person has a chance to flourish and follow his or her dreams, that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that more and more, we’re only worried about our own dreams and success, forgetting that our own success is inextricably linked to the ability that others around us have to likewise succeed. “A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere” is what Dr. Martin Luther King said.

Somewhere along the line that idea was lost, perhaps perverted and altered. But that backbone is as sturdy as ever and we must lean on it, reminding ourselves that Democracy is freeing and empowering only when we demand it be so for everyone.

We’re not doing enough. We will have to change.

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Tone and Timing are Important in gun discussion following horrific tragedy

The acts were unthinkable, the tragedy incomprehensible and the evil unconscionable. If you were frightened and confused after Aurora, you were devastated and depressed after a monster opened fire in a kindergarten class.

Many lamented it was hard to even believe the crimes committed in Newton on Friday were perpetrated by anyone even close to human.

After texting and calling as many of my friends as I could to tell them how much I cared about them, I sat at my kitchen table, my head in my hands and cried.

I hadn’t lost any loved ones. I only know a handful of people who even live in Connecticut, but as a human being I was shaken to my very core. I was physically in pain over this.

So when person after person in my social media timelines took to snarky, “I told you so” gun law rants, I was blind with rage that they would be so insensitive.

We were just a few hours after an unspeakable tragedy and already this had become a political argument, and more than that it was a condescending, sarcastic conversation.

As Tommy Christopher points out (and if you read this blog you know Mr. Christopher and I rarely agree) you are allowed to react however you want to this tragedy and if you want to talk about gun control that’s fine.

Just a few hours later, Christopher, after watching S.E. Cupp break down on MSNBC trying to tell this story, used a more measured tone to admit that not only is it important that we talk about the issues at hand here, but how we do it.

It’s understandable for someone to jump from “What a horrible tragedy this is,” to “This could have been a lot less horrific if the shooter hadn’t been allowed to have an assault rifle.”

But saying something like, “Is this a good time to talk about gun control?” is condescending and perverse. This sort of self-adulation has no place in the moments immediately following a tragedy. Why would anyone want to play the “I told you so” game when 20 kindergartners are dead?

Furthermore, there were people screaming all over Twitter and Facebook, “Gun control.” Ok. What does that mean? What do you want to see changed? And to those wondering about the timing of the discussion, we’ve been talking about gun control for 100 years. As long as there have been guns, there have been discussions about gun control.

If you weren’t involved in the discussion, that’s on you, but no one was preventing you from being involved. There are myriad anti-gun groups you could have joined, dozens of elected representatives you could call and e-mail. Don’t blame the world because you weren’t involved and even worse, don’t be a sarcastic prick when dozens of families were devastated by a mentally unstable vehicle of pure evil.

I was glad to see so many people were ready to blame our gutless politicians for failing to stand up to the NRA on things like extended clips and assault rifles. Check out what a .223 caliber rifle looks like and tell me if you think a 20-year-old (or any civilian) should own one.

But can we wait an hour or two after we know the facts to start having that discussion? It’s incoherent to me how anyone’s first reaction was “POLITICS” when my first reaction was searing pain and despair for the families, and I’m as political a person as you’ll meet.

What I was disappointed, but not surprised to see, was how easily those who yelled about gun control were to shirk responsibility for their own actions. President Obama has been rated by gun control advocates as worse than President George W. Bush who was a gun-owner himself.

Since 2007, six of the 12 worst shootings in U.S. history have occurred. In other words, almost half of the deadliest days in U.S. history took place under the watch of Barack Obama.

Where has his leadership been on this issue? If you want to talk politics, where is the Nobel Peace Prize winner when his own city of Chicago is more dangerous than the streets of Kabul right now?

The National Journal insisted that the discussion about gun laws had to start at the top. We’ll see if this is a seminal moment in the gun law discussion. I hope, for everyone’s sake that it is.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was critical of the president for not speaking out more forcefully against guns.

As much as I hope some good can come from this tragedy, I would never say that I hoped this would create ‘political capital’ like Alex Wagner did on MSNBC.

To the left, everything can be used for political gain, as Chris Matthews reminded us when he said he was glad for Hurricane Sandy because it helped President Obama win re-election.

I don’t want to make this about left and right, Democrat and Republican because I would hope on a day like today we could all recognize the urgent need to do something about the violence in this country.

Gun laws are not the only piece to the puzzle, it’s irrefutable that there is a cultural issue at play here. Poor parenting and a culture of entitlement have lead us down this path. People believe the world owes them and when the world doesn’t deliver, they freak out.

The entitlement culture has to end and that is part political, part societal and each perpetuates the other.

Gun control is one step. Taking away all guns isn’t an answer, but we can’t be so afraid to infringe on the Second Amendment – extended clip restrictions and semi-automatic assault rifle bans for civilians wouldn’t do that – that we take no action at all.

We cannot be paralyzed by this tragedy, we must be galvanized by it. Furthermore, we cannot let it divide us along partisan lines because everyone’s goal is the same: peace. We have to find ways to achieve that as a collective, or we will surely fall further and further into the dystopian hell we are building.

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Leftist arguments against right-to-work laws are emblematic of flawed liberal logic

Liberal ideology becomes more incoherent by the day.

Their latest crowing about right-to-work laws in Michigan are part and parcel of the degradation of the arguments in our political landscape.

Why, they’ll ask, should a worker be allowed to be a member of the union and reap all the benefits of membership without having to pay dues? That’s unfair!

You mean like the 50% of Americans who reap the benefits of being a citizen without paying taxes? That kind of unfair?

There is no argument being given by pro-union lefties as to why these laws are so painfully awful. According to Richard Hurd, a Cornell professor of labor studies, only about two-thirds of employees join a union in a right-to-work situation.

Oh the humanity.

You mean giving people the option to join a union means some people won’t do it? Remind me again how letting someone make a choice is infringing on their liberty.

When you get hired by an employer, you aren’t being hired by the union bosses, yet those bosses can force you to join a union and pay dues.

What are those dues for? Salaries of the union bosses, pensions for the union bosses and money to lobby legislators or even help fund campaigns.

Without those dues, you have fewer union bosses, smaller pensions and much less money to use for political gain. You can understand why the unionistas don’t like these laws.

According to State Budget Solutions, employment grew 8.2% from 2001 to 2010 in right-to-work states, while union states saw a .5% decrease.

Unemployment in the 23 states who have right-to-work laws is under 7%, while union states are facing nearly 9% unemployment.

Unions are part of the European model. Germany, for instance, is fine with contact unemployment in the 8% range or higher because those who are employed are getting higher wages and benefits. That’s not the way our system works, nor is it the way our system was set up to work.

But the left can’t come up with a good reason not to have right-to-work laws. They don’t want them because they think unions are the only thing preventing workers from working 20-hour days, shackled up in damp, dark, dungeons.

It’s not much different than their arguments for higher taxes on the rich. Ask a liberal to defend higher taxes on the rich and they’ll inevitably cite historical models to show how low taxes are right now. “Well under Clinton blah blah blah.”

That’s it. That’s all they’ve got.

Obama’s plan for higher taxes on the top 2% doesn’t do anything to reduce the deficit. In fact, 75% of Obama’s tax increases will go to new spending. These new revenues won’t pay down the debt and won’t spark economic growth. So what will they do? Make everyone feel better? Not when they lose their jobs.

If Obama’s economic model of massive deficits and debts amid gargantuan government spending worked, we’d have a booming economy. We don’t.

But the left is in charge and they like to wave their (rhymes with) stick around and punish those who have been successful.

Unless those people are teachers, or union heads, or actors, singers…well basically any liberal.

Liberals will fight at all costs to keep teachers’ unions in power, even while they’re bankrupting local communities, and state governments. Obama’s own right-hand man, Rahm Emmanuel, saw the destructive power of unions and their inability to stand for anything other than the greed of their own union members.

You can be in favor of right-to-work laws without being anti-union. If anything, people voluntarily joining unions actually strengthens the positioning power of that union because everyone in the union wants to be there and is more likely to be engaged as a result.

Conservatives are often portrayed as the party of tradition, of people who do things just because that’s the way it’s always been.

But liberals have lately been victims of their own ideological traditionalism. We should raise taxes because we always want to raise taxes. We should have unions because we’ve always had them and they always give us money.

Why should we give money to people who don’t serve us? Unions don’t serve union workers, they serve union heads. Taxes don’t serve the people who pay them, they serve the people who don’t.

As part of the social contract, we agree to be governed in order to gain additional liberty that the state of nature deprives us. Defense and the mediation of resources that we could not otherwise handle are the main functions of government. Anything behind that must be justified, but the left has no concept of its role as a governing party, nor any concept of what a government’s relationship ought to be with its people.

That’s why we get leaders like Barack Obama who, when the chips are down, has no coherent ideology to fall back on when trying to make decisions. That’s liberalism.

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GOP’s counter-offer in Fiscal Cliff Talks puts Obama in difficult position

After the ridiculous proposal put forth by the Obama administration concerning the so-called fiscal cliff, the Republicans returned fire with a proposal of their own.

In it, will be a proposed $800 billion in additional revenue – about half of what the president wants – and more substantive reforms to entitlement spending, although the GOP was careful not to go after any of the left’s sacred calves.

Democrats have been very clear that they would not sign any fiscal cliff policy that doesn’t increase rates on top earners, but there’s no clear evidence to support why that would be any different than other kinds of revenue outside of the fact that the left wants to punish success.

In the plan is also about $1.2 trillion in cuts including deeper cuts to Medicare than the president proposed and a change to how Social Security is calculated.

As the Business Insider points out, the plan is a legitimate compromise because the tax loop holes would disproportionately affect the wealthiest Americans, but also would give the GOP bigger cuts.

Not only is it a good sign for the negotiations given that the Republicans seemed to have backed off a more hard-line approach, or at least the appearance of one, but this plan will make it much harder for President Obama to stand firm on his insistence on raising taxes.

John Boehner and the Republicans have met President Obama exactly halfway on new revenues and the tax reform will impact top earners just like the Democrats want. The cuts to Medicare aren’t new, in fact, they’re part of the plan the White House has already outlined, the GOP just wants bigger cuts.

By approaching this from a more bi-partisan prospective – the framework is based on Democrat Erksine Bowles’ plan – Boehner has changed the playing field for the discussion.

The GOP has made it clear that they will not negotiate from the absurd position the Obama administration has taken to begin these discussions. By offering a legitimate counter to the president’s plan, Obama and the Democrats must now choose between looking like intransigent tax mongers or agreeing to change the game plan to the Republican framework.

But by giving the Republican framework a basis in a plan put forward by a Democrat, the latter is not quite as bitter a pill to swallow.

This is a rare moment, particularly in recent memory for the GOP, that the strategy and the policy are equally laudable. Hopefully it means a deal gets done, regardless of who gets to take the credit.

There is a chance, though, that it could backfire and incense the President along with his Democratic allies. Feeling cornered, the President could hold firm to his demands and allow a deal to go by the wayside until the sequester hits and politicians grow desperate allowing him to swoop in and appear the great bargainer.

For that to happen though, he’ll have to risk appearing uncompromising to start, something he’s accused the GOP of being for years. It seems more likely this will incite a brokered agreement that allows the left to cheer new revenues thanks to more tax revenue from the rich and the right to applaud austerity and entitlement reforms.

It’s a rare chance to have a political win-win.

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