The Times has an interesting articled about the fiscal cliff negotiations by Jackie Calmes, who has great sources in the administration. The key takeaway is the description of whats happened since Sunday, when its just been Obama and Boehner:
Quote below the fold
This week the president and speaker took direct control after staff-level talks bogged down late last week, largely over what one person close to the White House called “the big 2”: Republicans’ demands that Mr. Obama agree both to a slow increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, to 67 from 65, and to a new formula that would reduce cost-of living increases for Social Security.Two Points:
Mr. Obama has balked; he opposes both ideas and faces heavy pressure from unions and other progressive groups to reject them. But his stance is undercut by the fact that he had tentatively agreed to both proposals in last year’s secret talks, in return for Mr. Boehner’s support for raising taxes on high-income earners.
The president and his aides have told Mr. Boehner and his team that both proposals would be a hard sell to other Democrats, people close to the talks say.
1)I always knew it was a bad idea for Obama to accept, even tentatively, the cuts in 2011. It was always going to be tough for him to walk that back, as we're now seeing, cause republicans now believe they've entitled to those cuts.
2)We should make sure every democratic house member and Senator is against these cuts. Chained CPI and Medicare Elibigibility need to be ingrained in there heads like Voucherization was. Obama needs Boehner to believe that these are nonstarters with the democratic caucus, sorta like the Debt-ceiling in reverse.