Bargaining With Yourself

April 10, 2011 9:33 p.m.

This article from the Times has some interesting tidbits on what to expect in the president’s Wednesday speech on the budget deficit. A key point, the article suggests, is that it’s not just the Friday night budget deal that is prompting this but also Rep. Ryan’s (R) release of his budget plan.Also included in the piece, alas, are administration officials’ comments about the president’s thinking that make him sound hopelessly naive about who he’s dealing with: “Several presidential advisers interviewed in recent weeks said Mr. Obama has been torn between wanting to propose major budget changes to entice Republicans to the bargaining table, including on Social Security, and believing they would never agree to raise revenues on upper-income Americans as part of a deal.”

Perhaps a better approach would be to decide the amount of deficit cutting that is necessary for the health of the country’s economy and then devise an approach to achieving that goal that actually makes sense from a policy perspective.

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