President Barack Obama's unwillingness to negotiate with Congress on the budget or the debt limit is proof he wants a government shutdown despite his rhetoric, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.
The paper suggests that the president's refusal to compromise on those key issues is a calculated political maneuver to achieve a shutdown that will be blamed on Republicans, thereby restoring a Democrat-controlled House to rescue the final two years of his domestic agenda.
"Mr. Obama's refusal to negotiate suggests that he wants a shutdown — either over the budget or debt limit. His agenda is dying on Capitol Hill, because of Senate Democrats as well as House Republicans," the paper argues.
"With his approval rating down and independents leaning toward the GOP, he figures his only chance to salvage a second-term domestic legacy is to restore Nancy Pelosi as Speaker in his final two years," the Journal contends.
"His best opening to make that happen is a shutdown or debt-limit crisis that he will try to blame on Republicans."
The Journal says that while both parties are responsible for creating the imminent shutdown, Obama is also to blame for refusing to make changes to any element of Obamacare unless it is he who makes a decision to defer certain parts of the law to prevent the program's failure.
The paper cites the president's "unilateral decision" to delay by one year the business mandate to provide insurance for employees, and another decision to delay the requirement to verify the income of Americans seeking subsidies.
"He'd rather see the government shut down than accept the Obamacare compromises that House Republicans have put in their latest government funding bill. He refuses to delay the law for a year though his own actions reveal it is not ready for prime time," the Journal says.
"A shutdown," the newspaper said, "is as much his strategy as it is [GOP Sen. Ted] Cruz's."
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