Thursday, August 4, 2011
Clinton to Obama: Don't blink on Debt Ceiling Showdown: Obama could learn from Clinton
President Obama didn't get the best Debt Reduction bill who could've and Debt and Deficit Reduction is something he clearly wants to do. Because for one The Tea Party Caucus ran the House GOP Negotiations during the Debt Negotiations, because a certain group of people didn't bother to vote in 2010. But thats a different blog but even with both of those factors, President Obama faced a smaller challenge then President Clinton. President Clinton faced a United Republican Congress and had to veto a lot of Spending Bills that were sent to him. Because even though Senate Democrats had forty seven seats a large minority, Senate Republicans passed those bills through a process called reconciliation. Which is complicated but to put it simply, it means that the Senate Majority Party can pass legislation with just a Simple Majority fifty one votes instead of sixty. And that the Senate Minority Party can't block legislation that comes up through reconciliation but the Senate Leader can only use the Reconciliation Process on budget related items. So President Clinton had to deal with a Republican Congress not just House, while President Obama only has a Republican House to deal with and didn't have to veto anything during this process. Because the Democratic Senate kept blocking legislation from the Republican House and of course both Chambers of Congress have to pass the same exact legislation before Congress can pass anything and send it to the President. And despite the fact that President Obama and democrats still control 2/3 of the Federal Government as far as the Lawmaking. The President had to give the House Republican Leadership as well as Senate Republican Leadership a lot of what they wanted in this Debt Deal. Democrats actually got quite a bit as well in Defense Cuts and protecting their top priorities but because of the fact they have more power then they did in 1995, they could've gotten more. And a lot of this is because of the fact that look I believe, Barack Obama is a great and brilliant man and is the Leader of the Good Guys. But his political skills don't match up with Bill Clinton's thats just a fact.
What Bill Clinton did back in the fall and winter of 1995-96 during the last Federal Government shutdown, even though he wasn't considered a Strong Leader yet and his Approval Ratings were in the 40s. Was to take the Congressional Republicans Budget and Deficit Reduction plan as for what it is. And took it to the American People and told them as well as the Congressional Republican Leadership, that every time he vetoed their Spending Bills. Was that I can't allow you to do as President of the United States what you want to do. And can't allow you to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. I can't allow you to weaken our Environmental Protection or Aide to Education. I can't allow you to do this as President at the same time while your cutting taxes for the wealthy. I'm paraphrasing here but thats pretty close. And he took this message to the public everyday and got through to the people and saw a 10-15 point jump in his Approval Rating as a result. Because the American People saw President Clinton as a fighter for them and someone who will stand up to Political Extremes. President Obama got in the game late and cut the best deal available at the time instead.
At the end of the day President Obama I believe got the best deal that he could under the circumstances at the time. He got a Debt Reduction Deal that will bring down our debt and deficit and start to get them under control, a Down Payment. This is Round One of two in Debt Reduction. But he could've done much better if he just learned from history of similar battles from that past.