Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let Me Get My Bet Down on this One

From the FT:

The White House said on Sunday it would this week propose radical reforms to public spending, an attempt to regain the initiative after a last-minute deal on Friday to avoid a federal government shutdown.

David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, said Barack Obama, the president, would propose “significant debt reduction”, including looking at the federal Medicare and social security programmes, traditionally regarded as sacrosanct. “Every corner of the federal government has to be looked at,” Mr Plouffe said on Sunday, although he added that spending on investment and education would be protected whenever possible.

Congressional Republicans reacted with scorn to the announcement, saying Mr Obama had been dragged reluctantly into making the first round of cuts agreed on Friday, and was unlikely to have a clear plan for more.

I don't doubt that there are still some out there who are willing to believe in this next incarnation of the gleaming electric O. And for them I have just one word: Gitmo, and Iraq, and the Patriot Act, and rendition, and transparency with everything being broadcast on C-span. Ok that was like four words.

I'm betting right now that any Obama reform will be pretend reform. Because it is going to take major political huevos to attack entitlements, and this is a guy who won't stick his neck out on even the small stuff.

Good news though: if the Republicans can put a plan of attack together, and convince a majority of the population that we've got to do it, then Obama will be happy to take credit for it. And then he can't veto it.