Make no mistake. There will be no "grand bargain" or "great compromise" between President Obama and congressional Republicans.
As if we needed further proof, the president has withdrawn a prior offer to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefits.
The proposal was made to sway Republican leaders to consider his long-term plan to reduce the federal debt and deficit spending.
The Associated Press reports, "the decision amounts to a White House acknowledgement that Obama has been unable to conclude a 'grand budget bargain' with GOP leaders, even by proposing a benefit reduction embraced by Republicans and opposed by many in his own party."
The problem is he began with a non-starter. Republicans never were going to agree to Obama's calls for higher taxes, which Obama wanted to accompany the proposed cuts.
Considering how far the White House and Congress have been able to go on debt-reduction, is it any wonder why Americans should not hold their breath for Washington to break out of gridlock?