Gallup polls suggest that the average Democrat wants to reduce the deficit with a mix of 46 percent revenue hikes and 54 percent spending cuts, while the typical Republican prefers a formula with 26 percent tax hikes and 74 percent spending reductions. Yet in this week's negotiations on raising the debt ceiling to keep the government from running out of cash on Aug. 2, President Obama reportedly has endorsed reducing the debt by $2 trillion, with just 17 percent coming from tax increases and 83 percent from spending cuts. Is Obama really to the right of most Republicans?
Yes. Without a doubt: Obama might not really be a "moderate Republican," says Paul Krugman at The New York Times. But there is no denying that what he has offered — "and Republicans have refused to accept" — "puts him slightly to the right of the average Republican voter." Fortunately for progressives, Obama's concessions don't matter, because "Republicans are incredibly unwilling to take yes for an answer."
"Obama, moderate Republican"
Nonsense. Obama is pushing a far-left agenda: If the president is so open to compromise, says Eric Golub at The Washington Times, why is he trying to scare senior citizens by saying they won't get their Social Security checks if Republicans refuse to raise taxes? Like a good liberal, Obama is doing and saying everything he can to get the debt ceiling raised. He wants to keep spending on wasteful social programs because liberals "need people dependent on government so they can govern in perpetuity."
"The debt ceiling, taxes, and endless liberal lies"
Obama is leaning right because he wants a deal: The key point, says Ezra Klein at Bloomberg, is that "Republicans are dead set against any deal that includes compromise with Democrats, no matter its effect on the deficit." And Obama is "interested in almost any deal that proves he can compromise with the Republicans" and cut the deficit. Republicans are resisting things they really want to avoid a deal, and Obama, far from being a Republican, is giving up more than he would like "because he wants [a deal] so badly."
"What debt talks teach us about Obama and Republicans"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- The danger of the Democrats' lack of desperation
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Hey, Paul Ryan's new poverty plan isn't completely terrible!
Subscribe to the Week