by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Liberals, who have convinced themselves that deficit spending isn’t just unobjectionable but an objective good, think that it is silly for the president to have to make nice with Republicans on the subject. But the outreach to Republicans, Fournier tells us, is just to provide political cover after a couple of rocky weeks before getting back to the business of torching Republicans for opposing additional spending.
Like the Bush Republicans did in the aughts, the Obama Democrats promise that deficits of today lead to the surpluses of tomorrow. And since Obama’s deficits are twice as big, just wait until you see the dividends come rolling in. Democrats say that the problem with the twice-as-big deficits is that they are not big enough. Krugman has led the charge on the left arguing that with interest rates at rock bottom, now is the time for more, more, more borrowing in order to get the economy back on track after six very lousy years.
The other thing that we’re learning about Obama and deficits this week is that this is not an issue that he particularly cares about.
When he speaks to donors to his personal national committee today he will certainly use the words “deficit reduction” and mention his “balanced approach” but he will surely talk much more about the need for more spending and more deficits to a crowd that is giving money in order to see money spent, not cut.
But as the president’s remarkably fast retreat on shuttering the White House to public tours shows, he knows that beyond his donors and loyalists, the ongoing deficit impasse is a terrible loser for him and his team – just as it was for the Bush Republicans in 2006 and 2008.