Earlier this week David Brooks penned a cri de coeur about the “revolutionary fervor” he found lurking beneath the covers of Barack Obama’s budget proposal for next year. The next day he started getting pushback from White House aides. By the time he’d finished talking to them, Brooks says, he didn’t find himself completely convinced:
Nonetheless, the White House made a case that was sophisticated and fact-based. These people know how to lead a discussion and set a tone of friendly cooperation. I’m more optimistic that if Senate moderates can get their act together and come up with their own proactive plan, they can help shape a budget that allays their anxieties while meeting the president’s goals.
Fact based is a big improvement over the past eight years, no? All by itself, that demonstrates a certain pragmatism and moderation even if Obama does favor things like carbon pricing and universal healthcare.
On the other hand, Brooks also came away from his conversations convinced that the Obama administration is “plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending.” I wonder if he’s going to get another set of phone calls about that on Friday morning?