Thursday, July 14, 2011

How Right is Obama?

According to Paul Krugman, Barack Obama stands slightly to the right of the average Republican with regard to budget cuts versus tax increases. And the funny thing is, for the ideological Republicans, this isn't right enough!

From Krugman's NY Times blog:
Obama, Moderate Republican

OK, not exactly. But Nate Silver’s analysis of the budget proposals is a must-read. Nate looks at polling, and extracts the following implied preferences for the mix between tax increases and spending cuts in a debt deal:

Click to Enlarge

What Obama has offered — and Republicans have refused to accept — is a deal in which less than 20 percent of the deficit reduction comes from new revenues. This puts him slightly to the right of the average Republican voter.

So we learn two things. First, Obama is extraordinarily eager to make concessions. Second, Republicans are incredibly unwilling to take yes for an answer — something for which progressives should be grateful.
The above is a bit tongue-in-cheek. But the point is to show how hidebound and intransigent the Republicans are. Obama has bent to the Republican will but not completely caved in, but that isn't good enough. If you are a fanatic, only complete surrender is acceptable.

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