“Don’t blink!” is the advice.
Former President Bill Clinton Saturday night urged President Obama not to “blink” at Republican demands to exclude revenue increases from any agreement to extend the government’s debt ceiling.
If Republicans maintain their opposition to revenue increases, Clinton said, Obama should pursue a short-term deal to extend the debt ceiling based on spending cuts both sides have already accepted in the negotiations between the administration and Congressional leaders from both parties.
“I hope they will make a mini-deal,” Clinton said in an interview conducted with him at the Aspen Ideas Festival here. …
… The talks have foundered amid demands from Congressional Republicans to exclude any revenue increases from that prospective deficit reduction package.
Asked what the administration could do if GOP leaders hold to that posture, Clinton replied: “First the White House could blink. I hope that won’t happen. I don’t think they should blink.” …Ron Brownstein, Atlantic
Bill Clinton wants the bottom line to be what came out of the bipartisan deficit commission that met last year.
Though Obama appointed the commission, he has never fully embraced its proposals. Clinton on Saturday, however, said that “the Democrats do have a responsibility to either embrace the approach recommended in the Bowles-Simpson commission or some variation thereof.”
Clinton, who compared the current showdown with the government shutdown he faced with congressional Republicans led by Newt Gingrich in 1995-96, argued that a failure to extend the debt ceiling would constitute a “significant error” with potentially serious consequences not only for the U.S. but other economies around the world.
He added: “You have to assume that our credit rating will be downgraded and our interest rates will go up which will make the deficit problem worse and make it much more difficult to recover because it will be harder for people to get credit, even harder than it is now.”
In other words, don’t blink and don’t let Congressional Republicans screw around anymore.