White House Magical Thinking on Striking Medicare-Cutting Deal With Republicans

The Right Wing

If you are curious as to what the White House really thinks about the fiscal cliff, I'd have to guess that [Obama senior adviser] David Plouffe would know:

I urge you to watch that all the way through, it's only three painful minutes. He lays it out in all its Village glory. 

It would seem that the administration is still believing its own hype, even after all this time. They still believe they can end these pesky partisan battles for all time (or at least the next 20 years) with one Grand Bargain and then move on to curing cancer, reversing climate change and bringing peace to all mankind. The fact that Bill Clinton left a surplus just 12 years ago has apparently eluded them. And one can only assume that they're so pleased with the untried Rube Goldberg contraption called Obamacare that they've decided we don't really have much need for these creaky old single payer systems anymore.

This is called hubris and it's mind boggling considering just how weak this economy is. Apparently, they believe that they won because everyone just loved the past four years, not because the Republicans have gone batshit insane. 

It was somewhat stunning to find out that Fox and the Romney campaign were so caught up in the alternate reality they created that they didn't believe they could lose the election. It would seem the Democrats have created one of their own. 

Buzzflash wrote up the Plouffe comments:

Obama senior adviser David Plouffe predicted that the fiscal cliff negotiations are "going to get hairy" in the coming weeks, saying President Barack Obama is committed to achieving the elusive "big deal" on taxes and spending he and Speaker of the House John Boehner have tried to strike for more than 18 months.

In post-election remarks at the University of Delaware, Plouffe warned of "paralysis" if both parties remain beholden to their base, saying Obama is looking for a deal that sets the country on the right fiscal path for a 10- to 20-year period.

"The only way that gets done is for Republicans again to step back and get mercilessly criticized by Grover Norquist and the Right, and it means that Democrats are going to have to do some tough things on spending and entitlements that means that they'll criticized on by their left," Plouffe said at his alma mater in conversation with former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt.

The senior White House adviser repeated Obama's opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts on those earning more than $250,000 a year, but expressed openness to a tax reform deal that could potentially lower what the wealthy pay.

“What we also want to do is engage in a process of tax reform that would ultimately produce lower rates, even potentially for the wealthiest," he said, referring to benefits from corporate tax reform.

Plouffe added that while the White House wants to engage in comprehensive tax reform, they know they must also "carefully" address the "chief drivers of our deficit": Medicare and Medicaid.

And then we'll all live happily ever after. 

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