October 26, 2013
WELCOME TO SAN JACINTO:
Obama's Top Economic Adviser Tells Democrats They'll Have to Swallow Entitlement Cuts (Joshua Green, October 25, 2013, Bloomberg)
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2013 1:45 PMThis morning, Gene Sperling, director of the White House's National Economic Council, appeared before a Democratic business group for what was billed as a speech about the economy after the shutdown, followed by a Q&A session. The White House didn't push this as a newsmaking event, so it didn't get much billing. But I went anyway, and I was struck by what Sperling had to say, especially about the upcoming budget negotiations that are a product of the deal to reopen the government.In his usual elliptical and prolix way, Sperling seemed to be laying out the contours of a bargain with Republicans that's quite a bit different that what most Democrats seem prepared to accept. What stood out to me was how he kept winding back around to the importance of entitlement cuts as part of a deal, as if he were laying the groundwork to blunt liberal anger. Right now, the official Democratic position is that they'll accept entitlement cuts only in exchange for new revenue--something most Republicans reject. If Sperling mentioned revenue at all, I missed it.STORY: Political Polarization: It's Worse Than You ThinkBut he dwelt at length--and with some passion--on the need for more stimulus, though he avoided using that dreaded word. He seemed to hint at a budget deal that would trade near-term "investment" (the preferred euphemism for "stimulus') for long-term entitlement reform. That would be an important shift and one that would certainly upset many Democrats.