What a night of political drama (trauma)! The President says Speaker John Boehner walked away from the table, while the Speaker says just the opposite. The President says the Speaker just kept saying "no", which suggests there never was a deal. Boehner says "We had a deal but the President moved the goalposts." Who is to be believed? I camp with the President and here's why.
Every time Boehner et al. are confronted with a specific question, they consistently fall back on the generalization of "No new taxes." Again, and again and again. But, what new taxes, specifically? The only one specifically mentioned is the suggested repeal of the Bush tax cuts for those with yearly incomes in excess of $250,000.00. But, these cuts are due to automatically expire at the end of this year, anyway. In GOP jargon, to affirmatively void this tax cut is to impose a new tax cut. You can go 'round and 'round on this syntax argument but this is no time to play Scrabble.
The Republicans equate "revenue enhancement" with "new taxes." Let them put forth one specific example other than the name game discussed above. And, any politician who signs a pledge to never do something, must be considered a zealot.
An example of the tilted ship the GOP wants to sail on: Democrats criticize the President for too much reduction in Government spending (Medicare, Social Security, etc.). The Tea Party threatens to bolt if the majority of Republicans even thinks of the most minute compromise. Let the burden be borne by the middle and low earners. Don't touch the upper class with their tax loopholes and breaks. Unfortunately, credit cards, with their outrageous interest rates, permeate our lifestyle. A tax deduction is allowed for interest payments relating to business, but not personal expenses. Who do you think benefits from that?
It is not necessary to choose between versions. When the nation and the world is faced with this type of crisis, no one walks away from the negotiating table. The President presents as reasonable; the Republicans as intransigent, with a moderate majority held hostage by the mob ideology of a minority.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the President should unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, in order to avert calamity, and lead the way from there.
The battle for public perception is vital. The Republicans have, so far, lost it.