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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:18 AM

Why Obama is the worst negotiator ever: He puts artificial constraints on himself [View all]

For example, he clearly really wants to get a deal done before the end of the year. Why? There really isn't any good reason for such a restriction, especially if it means a bad deal. There are rumors now that he is so determined to get a quick deal that he will give away half of the tax increase on the rich, probably all of the cap gains, dividend treatment, and inheritance tax, plus give up 2 years of Medicare or at least sign up for the "chaining" system on Social Security, which amounts to a big cut in benefits.

And why would he give this up?

1) To get a deal done this year; and
2) In exchange for an agreement from the GOP to play nice on the debt ceiling.

But those reasons are completely bogus. Regarding the time line, nothing happens immediately on January 1. The markets have already factored delays into their calculations. The damage to the holiday retail sales is already baked in the cake. There is absolutely no reason to weaken your position for an early deal. Indeed, the negotiation position is MUCH stronger on January 1. There are more Democrats in Congress then. Norquist's pledge is a non-issue. And the Bush tax cuts are history. Obama can negotiate from a new baseline.

And there is absolutely no reason to give anything for the debt ceiling. First, he has the 14th Amendment. He doesn't necessarily have to use it, but this moron took that off the table. That is insane. Make the GOP think you MIGHT use it, and all of a sudden, they have no leverage on that score. Moreover, be prepared to let the GOP shut down government. In fact, DARE them to shut down government. How did that work out for Gingrich? That is the best possible way to show how many services are really valuable. A good negotiator would be using the debt ceiling AGAINST the GOP. "Either you make my deal or else your only option is to shut down government. Let's see who wins that one."

And then there is this idea of letting the opponent change the terms on you. That always happens when you have a good negotiator across the table. You have to return fire with fire. When the GOP says, "well, maybe we can give you 1% of what you are asking for, but only if you start down the path of destroying Medicare by adding 2 years to the eligibility age", the correct response might be, "Hmmm that is very interesting. Of course this puts quite a difficult burden on those approaching the retirement age. You know, I think we might be able to agree on a plan that says the fully paid benefits start at 67, and we add a new option for those 50-66 that allows them the option to buy into Medicare early at the actual cost to the Medicare system. That will guarantee these older Americans good coverage at the lowest possible price, and won't cost the taxpayers a dime." Do we have a deal?

Of course the GOP would scream bloody murder about that. That's a sign it is an eff3ective negotiation. You let them know that if they want to change fundamental principles, two can play that game.

Is there anybody out there who really believes Obama is going to hold out for a good deal?

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BlueStreak Dec 2012 OP
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 #1
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