Tags: left | Obama | pressure | election

FT: Left Sees Chance to Pressure Obama on Fiscal Cliff Talks

Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 09:25 AM

By Martin Gould

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Left-wing Democrats are seeing an opportunity to pressure President Barack Obama into giving up little in the fight over the looming “fiscal cliff.”

They believe the election results — where Democrats held the White House and increased their representation in both the House and Senate — gives the president the chance to hang tough in negotiations, reports the Financial Times.

And now Obama will have to decide whether to accede to the left’s demands, or take a more moderate path, the paper says.

“In last year’s failed talks with John Boehner, the Republican House Speaker, Mr. Obama had been willing to discuss elements of the liberal sacred cows, social security for pensioners, and different ways to trim benefits paid through Medicare and Medicaid,” the FT says.

“Since the election, many of Mr. Obama’s allies, in Congress, the unions and various lobby groups, have called for these so-called entitlement programs to be taken off the table in the fiscal cliff talks.”

The paper said Obama “appears to agree,” with the left’s argument that the election result was “a mandate for lifting marginal tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and shouldn’t be traded away by cutting benefits for the poor.”

The paper urges Obama not to bow to the left’s demands, saying, “A deal on entitlements might offend large parts of the old Democratic base but Mr. Obama can always remind them he has saved them from much worse.”

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