With time running out, it’s finally came down to this: President Obama had to choose between two plans – one by John Boehner, the other by Harry Reid.
Neither one goes as far as the president wants to go. Neither one is perfect. But there’s a big difference between them.
Boehner’s plan is nothing but more political gimmick, designed only to make the House Tea Party members happy – with zero chance of passing the Senate or getting signed by the president.
It would extend the debt ceiling for only 6 or 7 months – and then name some ridiculous Super Colossal Congressional Committee of 12 to decide all future budget cuts.
Reid’s plan would extend the debt ceiling until 2013, after the November 2012 elections – and include all the budget cuts agreed to last month by Republicans and Democrats meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden.
Unfortunately, Reid’s plan would include no new revenues from tax reform or getting rid of tax loopholes – thereby violating the president’s goal of a “balanced” approach.
But, given House Republican opposition, it’s the best Obama could do. Far better than starting all over again in February 2012. And far, far better than seeing the nation default.
That’s my parting shot for today.