White House: Obama didn’t 'cave' in debt deal

The White House is fighting to convince angry liberals that it did not give away too much in the debt-ceiling deal.

In a Web posting on Thursday, Jon Carson, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, tackles six “myths” about the debt-ceiling deal.

The first one: “President Obama caved.”

“First, we avoided default which would have plunged the economy into a deep recession, imperiling the well-being of millions of Americans. Second, the initial down payment on deficit reductions does not cut low-income and safety-net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Third, we set up a path forward that will put pressure on Congress to adopt a balanced approach. And finally, we raised the debt ceiling until 2013, ensuring that House Republicans could not use the threat of default in just a few months to force severe cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Carson argues.

He also says the GOP won’t admit it, but they didn’t get everything they wanted in the deal.

“They won’t admit it publicly, but when push came to shove, Republicans backed down on their key demands. For months, Republicans called for a budget that would have ended Medicare as we know it, made catastrophic cuts to Medicaid, or cut investments in education by 25 percent, clean energy by 70 percent and infrastructure spending by 30 percent. As if that wasn’t enough, they also demanded that we repeat this debt-ceiling crisis, just a few months from now,” he writes.

Liberals say Obama should have stuck to his guns and gotten the GOP to agree to eliminate special tax breaks and to include economic stimulus in the debt-ceiling deal. They see little chance of a stimulus that can head off a double-dip recession now that the deal imposes strict spending caps for the next 10 years.