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Subject:  Re: That Obama is a Cheeky Ba%$ard Date:  12/3/2012  10:56 AM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  1841854 of 2016118

Why negotiate with yourself? Why try to guess what the Republicans might actually support?

To give them the political cover to make a counter-offer.

There is a reason why "third-rail" political issues rarely get addressed. Proposals that might affect the entitlements of millions and millions of people are politically dangerous. They can only happen if both parties are sufficiently invested in the proposals, such that neither party is going to get clobbered at the next election. Equally, these types of issues also require the parties to take positions that their base opposes - which also carries enormous political risk.

So the GOP floats the idea of increasing taxes (if not tax rates) - which is contrary to their base's position. Obama's initial offer contains nothing that gives them any cover in response to that. Indeed, as many have pointed out, it creates a context where there is a risk of enormous political damage to the GOP if they make any response at all. It's a very clever political move - the GOP will lose whatever they do, which is why the President's supporters love it.

There are thus two possible scenarios. The first is that the President does believe that the end result of the fiscal cliff negotiations would have to include significant entitlement r