35 days and counting till the impending doom of the fiscal cliff: automatic spending cuts, coupled with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. An interesting turn, however, as pointed out by a piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning, is that President Obama is acting as though the fiscal cliff is yet another political campaign, holding meetings and events with business executives and middle-class Americans over the next several weeks. These events, some public, differ greatly from the strategy of the 2011 debt talks, in which the president “met primarily with lawmakers, and at one point peeled off to unilaterally negotiate with Mr. Boehner.”
Tuesday, Obama will meet with 15 small business owners at the White House, with individuals representing retail, health, information technology, transportation, and construction sectors. Wednesday, the president will talk with middle-class Americans about how tax increases would detrimentally impact them. Hat Tip to Politico.
Below are some of the reads that are driving the day :
Wall Street Journal: Elected, but Still Campaigning
WASHINGTON???President Barack Obama is ramping up the White House’s postelection effort to generate public support for his preferred package of tax increases and spending cuts. Mr. Obama, while standing firm on his viewpoint during talks with Republicans, called House and Senate leaders over the weekend to prod discussions, invited business leaders to the White House to enlist their support and planned a public event for Wednesday to press his position on taxes.
National Journal: On Cliff, Ryan Faces Choice of Two Paths
Fresh from the campaign trail and mulling his options for the future, former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will play a pivotal role in negotiations over the fiscal cliff and faces a choice of two paths. The Wisconsin congressman, known for his zeal for budget cutting, could opt for ideological purity and emerge as a leading voice urging his fellow Republicans to resist tax increases and demand steep cuts in entitlement spending.
WSJ: Republicans and the Tax Pledge
One of the more amazing post-election spectacles is the media celebration of Republicans who say they’re willing to repudiate their pledge against raising taxes. So the same folks who like to denounce politicians because they can’t be trusted are now praising politicians who openly admit they can’t be trusted.
Politico: Fiscal ‘cliff’? Democrats say ‘slope’
If some Democrats had their way, the country wouldn???t be facing the ???fiscal cliff??? ??? but a ???fiscal slope,??? ???fiscal curve??? or even an ???austerity crisis.??? Debating Republicans about how to solve the fiscal cliff is a fight on the wrong turf, they argue, since it doesn???t explain the origins of the problem or what will actually happen ??? George W. Bush-era tax breaks expire and across-the-board spending cuts go into effect.
National Review: How to Approach the ???Fiscal Cliff???
The hardest part of these negotiations will be the battle over entitlement reform. The bottom line for the GOP should be this: There should be no deal on long-term taxes without far-reaching reforms to health-entitlement programs. And what???s far-reaching? For starters, the entirety of Obamacare should be on the table for revision and retrenchment.
Washington Times: McConnell: Obama needs to end campaign, talk to his party
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that President Obama should spend less time trying to convince Americans of his tax-increase plans and more time meeting with Congress to try to work out an actual agreement.