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Obama Could Have Gotten a Better Deal

Nate Silver says the vote tally shows the Republicans cleaned up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – The debt ceiling deal President Obama struck with Republicans passed the House by a wide margin, which leads Nate Silver to one conclusion: Obama gave up too much. “Mr. Obama could have shifted the deal tangibly toward the left and still gotten a bill through without too much of a problem,” Silver writes in the New York Times. “Even if all members of the Tea Party Caucus had voted against the bill, it would still have passed 237-to-193, and that’s with 95 Democrats voting against it.”

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Silver thinks Obama could have tacked on extended unemployment benefits or an extension of the payroll tax cut, both of which would actually stimulate the economy and perhaps appeal to swing voters focused on job creation. Republicans might have grumbled, but it wouldn’t have violated their main criteria of no-new-taxes, and “Mr. Obama, evidently, had a few Republican votes he could afford to lose.” (Read more Nate Silver stories.)

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