After a hastily called meeting at the White House this morning, President Obama and congressional leaders departed after just an hour with no deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit later today.
While most of the discussion has been on how the spending cuts will hurt Americans, a larger consideration is what Americans will lose with no compromise between the two parties.
By refusing to consider more revenues by closing tax loopholes for wealthy Americans, Republicans have lost out on a chance to control entitlement spending. Had the GOP pushed a plan to dramatically cut entitlement spending in combination with new revenues, it would have been very hard for President Obama to refuse.
As Ron Brownstein correctly points out, Republicans "are underestimating the value of a Democratic president willing to provide a heat shield for entitlement reductions that would face initial public resistance."
Meanwhile, President Obama pointed out in his press conference immediately following his talks with congressional leaders that economic growth will be less than it could be as long as the sequester is in effect. The coalition he put together to win re-election — young people, minorities, and single women — will arguably hurt more than any other demographic group if economic growth stalls.
Brownstein notes that "nothing will strain that coalition more than a recovery too tepid to provide greater opportunity, especially for hard-hit young people, African-Americans, and Hispanics."
- Watch The Daily Show pit Pope Francis against Fox News' 'War on Christmas'
- 10 things you need to know today: December 4, 2013
- 5 books to read before your 30th birthday
- Are differences in IQ to blame for income inequality?
- What to expect when you're expecting (100 years ago)
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why so many Americans are missing out on the stock market boom
- Who will get screwed in Detroit's bankruptcy?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Do Republicans need a Plan B on ObamaCare?
Subscribe to the Week