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This is good.  Obama met with House Republicans, and while he listened, he refused to compromise on two big points:

  1.  Spending instead of tax cuts

One conservative House Republican who attended the hour-long closed door session was asked if Obama was winning any votes: "Nope. He said he won't compromise on more tax cuts. All form - not substance."


  1.  A tax cut/rebate for the working poor who pay social security and medicare taxes First Read

No compromise on core values.  More, after the fold.

On First Read, a Republican House member and aide inside the room with President Obama live blogged via e-mail:

But he talked to many economists who told him almost uniformly that they needed to get a stim bill up and running asap to avoid huge unemployment------------
So... We put together a package with direct spending and tax cuts.
Mentioned martin Feldstein.
Spending has a more simulative [sic] affect than tax credits.
For every dollar of direct spending, we get 1.5 dollars of stimulus
For every dollar of tax cuts, we get 75 cents of stimulus


First q from dave camp.
First meeting with house dems was the markup.
Can we find some more common ground on tax relief.

(responding to Camp) Obama says tax relief for some working families must come from payroll so even families who don't pay income taxes get relief and they will spend it.

He said "feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part." First Read

This is good.  On core values, no compromise.

Josh Marshall said it right today:

The McConnell/Boehner plan is to fix the Bush mess by pushing through more of the former president's policies. Again. Totally clear. I don't think they'd even deny it. Why is this off-limits to say out loud?


Barack Obama, after the meeting:

Update I: From Jyrinx in the comments.  Senator Boxer tells it like it is for Barack Obama:

[T]he one thing Barack Obama wants more than to have bipartisanship -- and he wants it -- the one thing he wants more is to solve the problem. And at the end of the day, we're going to do it with the Republicans or without them. We must act; these are serious crisis times. ...

[T]he Republican Party is turning into the Dr. No party: No, no, no. And there's always a reason: First, it's family planning, then we won't do that, and it'll be some other little thing. ... So if the Republicans want to nitpick, God bless them, I love them, but, you know, we'll do it without them if we have to.

We'll do it without them. The problem of the Bush depression must be solved, and more Bush policies as the House Republicans suggest won't solve the problem.

Update II: In my haste, I cut Obama's joke from the end of the statement about no compromise on tax relief for working poor.  Here it is:

(responding to Camp) Obama says tax relief for some working families must come from payroll so even families who don't pay income taxes get relief and they will spend it.

He said "feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part.

Obama said that there will be time to beat him up and a time for politics. He said I understand that and I will watch you on fox news and feel bad about myself. First Read

Snap!  :-)

Update III:  More details from the NY Times.  It looks like Obama has set a 275 B ceiling on tax cuts.

Several Republicans said they would like the tax cuts to move more swiftly, according to people in the room, but the president replied that $275 billion was the most he would be willing to negotiate. The session stretched longer than an hour, with both sides conceding at several points that they have unwavable philosophical differences on many of the issues.

Now, Obama may compromise on some small amount of targeted tax cuts if he thinks it's a good idea, or he may accept loading the plan with the waiver of the alternative minimum tax for upper middle class folks who fall into it becuase of inflation (this happens every year and Grassley has added it to the Senate Bill in Committee), but the core parameters of the stimulus plan are set.  Obama is not going to give up spending for Republican tax cuts.  A line has been drawn.

Originally posted to TomP on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:03 PM PST.

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