John Ransom

Whether Obama gets a deal with GOP legislators on spending and taxes, the president has already lost the budget battle.

The public perception is that the budget must be significantly reduced immediately. And while the public may go along with tightening up the tax code, count on the amount in “loopholes” to be closed to be figurative only.

Here is a president who was proposing back in February 2011 a 2012 budget of $3.7 trillion with a projected deficit of $1.6 trillion. Now suddenly he’s the champion for cutting spending to the tune $4-5 trillion with entitlement reform, which he vowed to prevent, on the table.

Nobody can do that in politics, not even Barack Obama, without leaving a nasty bruise.

Already the sniping from the Left is starting.

Back in March, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would twenty years before he’d take a look at Social Security reform.

"Two decades from now, I'm willing to take a look at it. But I'm not willing to take a look at it right now," Reid said according to the Hill.

He may soon have to eat those words.

“Good politics starts with good communication, and I think they should have come and talked to us about the direction, particularly when it’s the social contract and we feel so strongly about it,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski according to the National Journal, while grousing about a deal Obama is allegedly making to put Social Security and Medicaid on the table for entitlement cuts.

How did Obama get to the point that he’s considering the types of cuts that would add up to a clear victory for the GOP?

Obama waited too late to get involved in negotiations on the budget, just as he waits too long for every important decision.

The time to have negotiated was back in November and December before the president submitted that joke shop novelty budget to Congress that didn’t even get one vote in the Senate. You don’t come to the table with leverage when your own side won’t support your first and only proposal.

The result is that Liberals have had little leadership from the White House on the budget issue this year. The GOP has effectively made the case that federal spending is out of control because that was the only message out there.  

Then there are the unions.

Unions have given Democrats some tactical advantage in ground game against the GOP on election day, but on the whole they have been a net negative.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.