Keller @ Large: The Debt Ceiling Debate

BOSTON (CBS) – This is a showdown no one can afford to lose.

On Monday, President Barack Obama warned that the United States could slip into another recession if Congress fails to reach a deal that lowers the federal deficit and raises the debt limit.

Lawmakers have until early August to come up with a plan before the country defaults on its loans. But, what will it take to get something done?

I’m getting dizzy from all the spin coming out of this negotiation. And for a debate where each side accuses the other of not having the courage to do the right thing, both sides are noticeably lacking in the courage to tell the truth.

“Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now,” said President Obama on Monday.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

With all due respect, who does he think he’s kidding?

The White House plan does raise taxes by closing tax loopholes, spun by the president as a pittance extracted from the mega-rich.

“We have gotten rid of some of these egregious loopholes that are benefiting corporate jet owners or oil companies,” said

Popular targets, yes, but they add up to a drop in the debt bucket. And the AP reports other targeted loopholes could mean higher taxes on small business and the middle-class.

“We’re talking about 2013 and the out years,” said President Obama.

As if that renders the tax hikes painless.

The spin-o-meter says the president’s revenue spin doesn’t pass the smell test.

“The American people understand that tax hikes destroy jobs,” said House Speaker John Boehner.

But, the Republican spin that taxes are the devil’s work rings just as hollow.

They said the sky would fall when Bill Clinton raised taxes in the early 90’s, but it didn’t. In fact, an economic boom wiped out the deficit.

Speaker Boehner was reportedly ready to cut a deal for cuts and taxes, but was shot down by hard-line conservatives in his house.

“To prevent a default, a bill must pass the Congress, and a bill that doesn’t meet these tests can’t pass the House of Representatives,” said House Speaker Boehner.

Translation: it’s political reality, not the truth of his spin that brought Boehner to heel.

Too bad this crew can’t legislate as cleverly as they fabricate.

One true fact both the president and speaker agree on: a default next month would be a damaging fiasco. But, does either side have the nerve to drop the bogus spin and do the right thing before then?

President Obama and congressional leaders will meet again Tuesday afternoon to try to reach a deal on the debt ceiling.

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