Open Thread: Are Republicans Playing Into Obama's Hands?
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have both released debt limit plans, but if House Republicans don't support Boehner's plan, they could be handing President Obama an easy victory.
The debt limit debate has not only sharply divided Republicans and Democrats, but it might also be forcing a schism among Republicans who favor a permanent solution now versus Republicans who want a temporary fix with better solutions later, opening the door for Reid's plan to gain greater support. Do you think Republicans should support an imperfect Boehner plan? Or do you think they should avoid compromise and find a better solution? Let us know what you think in the comments.
If Boehner can pass his plan through the House, Obama would no longer have an easy GOP scapegoat for problems with the economy. If Boehner's plan doesn't pass, though, Obama would be able to blame the "childish" Republicans who don't want to compromise on debt ceiling negotiations. As explained in the Wall Street Journal,
Under the two-phase Boehner plan, Congress would authorize $1 trillion in new debt in return for $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade. [...]
In the second stage, the House and Senate would convene a 12-member joint select committee with a deficit reduction goal of $1.8 trillion by November. [...]
If the Boehner plan fails in the House, the advantage shifts to Mr. Reid's Senate plan, which would raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in one swoop through 2012. [...]
There are also a number of critics to Boehner's plan, including Sen. Jim DeMint.
The Boehner-Reid plan gives the President an immediate increase in the debt limit and only promises to cut spending in the future. It violates all three principles of the Cut-Cap-Balance Pledge because it does not substantially cut current spending, it does not truly cap future spending, and it does not require the passage of a strong Balanced Budget Amendment before raising the debt limit.
Do you think if conservatives defeat Boehner's plan, they'll be falling in step with what Obama wants them to do? Or do you think a better plan will emerge in the near future?