A number of conservative bloggers and pundits, including the always even-handed Michael Barone have been reporting that House Speaker John Boehner cut off talks with the White House because President Obama “welshed on a deal“:
Obama agreed to $800 billion in additional revenues, from eliminating tax preferences and perhaps cutting tax rates, as a ceiling, and then insisted on $400 billion more, in tax rate increases. No wonder John Boehner cut the negotiations off. The House Republicans have been called instranigent for rejecting tax increases and for passing the so-called Cut, Cap and Balance bill which, as the thoughtful Charles Lane pointed out on Fox News, will never be signed by the president. But why then isn’t the president being called intransigent for insisting on tax rates increases that will never be voted by the House? And for calling for those tax increases after saying that he wouldn’t?
Barone contends that the president is becoming aware that “his project of expanding America’s welfare state to European proportions [is] meeting serious reverses.”
It does seem Obama Fears Losing Reelection More Than Default (that link via Instapundit). That post explores Boehner’s critique of the president’s insistence “that a debt ceiling deal be timed to last beyond the next election season”.
UPDATE: Barone’s colleague Byron York reports that the White House is trying to block a deal:
But the GOP bill to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling, which would avert the coming default crisis, would also require at least one more debt increase before the 2012 election, and the president, working hard for re-election, does not want to deal with the issue again before November 2012. After consulting with Obama Sunday evening, [Senate Majority Leader] Reid’s willingness to work with the GOP disappeared. (The White House has all along blamed Republicans for blowing up the talks.)
“I think Reid wants to get this done,” says the senior Republican. “The problem is, the White House is so far out on a limb on vetoing anything that doesn’t get Obama through the 2012 election that it’s now kind of personal.” For Reid to keep working with the GOP would be a slap at the president and leader of the Democratic party — a virtually impossible scenario for the Majority Leader.
Emphasis added. Not wanting to deal with this before November 2012??!?! Um, isn’t that his job to deal with such things, especially considering the bills he signed increasing federal spending. Guess he’s rather campaign to keep his job than actually do his job.