On the sixth day that the home of America’s presidents is closed to the public, President Obama offers hope that he may one day be re-open the tours. He asked the White House staff on Tuesday how deeply they must furlough the tour operators in order to have tours on a part-time basis so that kids can still visit. Billionaire Donald Trump offered to fund the staff full time so that tours are open full-time.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos Obama said,
“My goal is not chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance. My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we’re going to be bringing in more revenue, if we’ve controlled spending and we’ve got a smart entitlement package then potentially what you have is balance, but it’s not balanced on the backs of the poor, the elderly, students who need student loans, families who’ve got disabled kids. That’s not the way to balance the budget.”
GOP leaders met with President Obama last week to present him with their budget plan to reduce spending in such a way as to not cause major pain to the people until the federal budget balanced in ten years and also funds White House tours. Obama and the Democrats rejected their proposal out of hand demanding an additional trillion dollars in tax revenues. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the president cannot expect to grow the economy so long as he is taking more and more tax revenue out of the private sector so cannot expect more tax revenues. The president and Democrat controlled Senate have not prepared a federal budget plan which they were required to do by law on Feb. 1. Both moderates and liberals argue with conservatives who complain no one in Washington is talking about cutting pork barrel spending, giving subsidies to failing “green energy” companies, and giving foreign aid to our enemies.
A senior White House official said in an interview in the National Journal that meeting with Republicans “is a joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours… I hope you all in the media are happy because we’re doing it for you,” indicating to conservatives that the president is merely meeting to create photo optics for down the road. While moderates are hopeful that they can reach a new “Grand Bargain” with the president, Stephen Hayes of FOX News said,
“I think this whole thing is a set-up. This is all about the 2014 elections. It has nothing to do with some kind of a grand bargain. The president hasn’t given us much evidence over the course of his four years in office that he really wants a grand bargain. This is all about setting up Republicans as the bad guy, as the villains so he can once again run against them… The media will say, ‘Look he reached out to these nasty Republicans and they just wouldn’t listen.’”