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Are Democrats Taking on Their Sacred Cows?

5:07 PM, Jul 13, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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On MSNBC this afternoon, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.) told Andrea Mitchell that Republicans ought to be willing to sacrifice their "sacred cows" in a debt ceiling deal if they want to see reductions to the deficit. She said the GOP should follow the lead of her own party:

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“The president proposed that we deal with this very big problem in a big way and that Democrats should put all of our sacred cows on the table," Wasserman Schultz said. "We demonstrated that we're willing to put all our sacred cows on the table."

Is it really the case that "all" of the Democrats' sacred cows are on the table? The repeal of Obamacare, for instance, might be considered the most sacred of them all, yet as the Hill reports, that option was "off the table" from the beginning:

In the same statement, Cantor criticized Obama for refusing to repeal his administration's healthcare reform law, and warned that any deal that included tax increases would not pass the House. 

"The President refuses to compromise on the repeal of ObamaCare, and House Republicans refuse to raise taxes, so both have been ruled out. Further, the simple reality is that tax increases cannot pass the House, and the constant demand for them makes coalescing around any increase in the debt limit less likely," Cantor said. 

It's apparent that cutting spending is another sacred cow that Democrats are unwilling to sacrifice on their own. Most of the spending cuts discussed in the various negotiations appear to be small and focus on "waste, fraud and abuse" or cuts to defense. And as Matt Continetti notes in this week's newsletter, the president seems wholly uninterested in any significant spending cuts, to entitlements or otherwise:

I made the mistake of watching President Obama's press conference on Monday, and came away thinking that he doesn’t believe America has a spending problem. Again and again, he mentioned programs he wants to fund, initiatives he'd like to pursue. He has no real interest in restructuring Medicare or Medicaid to put those programs on a sound footing. He's interested in reelection. The only sacred cow he wants to kill is the tradition of Republican opposition to tax increases.

So when Wasserman Schultz says Democrats have kept their sacred cows on the table, to which ones is she referring?

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