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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 54

For the relaunch of National Journal, Ronald Brownstein and Ron Fournier interviewed the president, who implicitly acknowledged the likelihood of GOP control of at least one chamber:

OBAMA It’s always hard to gauge what ends up being campaign rhetoric and what actual governance looks like. It is my hope that Republicans will say to themselves, "We need to get things done. In order to get things done we’re going to have to cooperate with the president." I hope they don’t believe all of their own rhetoric, because, for example, on something like dealing with our fiscal problems, anybody who’s honest and looks at the numbers will know that the reason we have these long-term fiscal problems is not because of stimulus, it’s not because of TARP. It’s because there’s a structural gap between how much money we’ve been spending and how much money we’ve been taking in that’s been going on at least since 2000. And we have an aging population that’s been making more demands on government. What they won’t be able to do, I think, is to say, "We’re going to cut taxes, balance the budget, and not impact on services that we know poll well and people like." If the "Pledge to America" says, "We’re not going to do anything on Social Security, we’re not going to do anything on Medicare, we’re not going to do anything on veterans, and we’re not going to do anything on defense," I don’t know a lot that’s left. Maybe they think that the national parks, they think somehow we can extract enough money out of them, or the Environmental Protection Agency. If that’s the case they’re going to have to look at the budget, and I’ll be happy to sit down with them and we can work through it line by line. Because one of the challenges we have, I think, is making sure that we’re all working off the same baseline of facts when it comes to our budget. I think a lot of people think that if we just eliminated waste and abuse in the system that would solve our fiscal problems. That if we got rid of earmarks that alone would solve our problems. If we eliminated foreign aid then somehow the budget would be balanced. And what will happen for any new arrivals, Democrat or Republican, they’ll run through the numbers and it’ll turn out that it’s not that simple.