Obama says major entitlement reforms are a few exits down the road and the GOP must help drive him there

President Obama held his first press conference of the year today and revealed that his new budget plan has given him such a headache he’s going to wash down four Advils with Crown Royal. And that he fears deportation proceedings.

OK, he didn’t.

But he did defend his new budget plan against critics who say it doesn’t move quickly enough to cut the federal government’s massive deficit and fails to confront the difficult choices needed to reform ballooning entitlement programs.

And apparently he’s not interested in getting good headlines. So much for him landing a job in celebrity or sports marketing after his White House gig is up.

“You guys are pretty impatient,” he told the media. “If something doesn’t happen today, then the assumption is it isn’t going to happen. My goal here is to actually solve the problem …. It’s not to get a good headline on the first day.”

Obama said his plan would help get the country on the right fiscal path by bringing spending for everything other than interest costs into line with revenues by 2017. He promises not to run up the credit card. Ask my wife how that works out.

Obama denied that by failing to propose major entitlement reforms he was abandoning the concept, just putting it on hold.
Then again, with the 2012 presidential election zooming closer every day, making significant progress on the deficit and entitlement issues in the next couple of years likely is on permanent call waiting.
Obama also admitted that while he sits in the Big Chair, Big Change can’t come from him alone. He needs a big assist from Congress to rein in entitlement spending.
Granted, don’t hold your breath waiting for the Republicans to pass him the ball. The GOP has been clear that it sees an absence of lucidity or logic, an abduction of rationality in the president’s budget plan.
“This is going to be a negotiating process,” he said. “The key thing that the American people want to see is that all sides are compromising. Both sides are going to have to give.”
Alas, iron doesn’t give. Neither do iron heads.

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