Obama’s losing hand at the fiscal cliff poker championship

By: John Richards Posted: December 21, 2012 1 Comment

The latest hand in the world championship of fiscal cliff poker has played itself out and the Christmas intermission has begun with lawmakers back home and Obama, naturally, back to Hawaii where he’ll be back to honing his cliff diving skills. And if you think John Boehner was the big loser in this last hand you haven’t been watching closely enough.

No one can deny that what happened Thursday night left the Speaker weakened, and one could argue, on the losing end of a no-confidence vote. But who could honestly make the case that an agreement that contains $1.3 trillion in tax increases countered by $865 billion in spending reductions (and that assumes those reductions are real) is fiscally sane, that this somehow will ever reign in expanding annual deficits or reduce our national debt.

But suppose this were to lead to the ouster of Speaker Boehner. Sure, it’s a loss for him, but it’s a far bigger loss for Obama. Boehner quickly and unceremoniously purged the hard core fiscal conservatives from leadership positions in the next congress and those representatives are none too happy. After all, they were elected by their constituents to get this country beck to fiscal sanity and revive an unconscious economy. So who would they push for as a new speaker, a “Boehner Light” or a fiscal hawk? Maybe even a “Speaker Ryan”.

If that scenario plays out Obama loses. He won’t have his way on taxes, on spending, on anything. And, of course, a moribund economy tanks, unemployment goes up and tax revenues fall. Sure, Republicans will take some heat but in the end it’ll be the Democrats and Obama’s economy. Just in time for the midterms, a time when the incumbent’s party usually loses seats to begin with. And despite all the help from Obama’s media minions, people will come to understand they’re broke because of Obama’s hatred of those evil rich.

All in all, a very bad bluff.

But there’s always, well, lets call it “Plan Z”, where Obama takes us over the cliff. At that point Obama will be forced to come back to congress for all the reasons stated above to make a deal (which is more correctly read as “save his presidency”) and be forced into a deal that reinstates the Bush tax rates for all and makes some real spending cuts rather than the smoke and mirrors cards he’s holding right now.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, November 7th, the day after Obama’s reelection, the Dow plummeted 313 points. Compare that with today’s loss of 120 points, after we all appeared to be doomed to driving off the fiscal cliff. (Sorry Mayans, you didn’t have anything to do with this one.) Could it be that the markets understand Plan Z better than the pundits? That they know Obama, before anything else, wants a legacy. That he wants to be loved and adored by all.

Very poorly played Barack, very poorly played.


One Response to “Obama’s losing hand at the fiscal cliff poker championship”

  1. Nancy Breithhart
    December 21st, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    Thank heaven for those Republican conservatives in the House – and for the vocal ones in the Senate that still are a threat. The vote is like a vote of confidence in the British Parliment – a wake up call for the idea of business as usual. This is a time for the Hope and Change that might just surprise our ‘boy king’.

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