Columnist David Brooks noted how President Obama “threw out enough rhetorical chum to keep the liberals happy” during his speech to Congress. But Brooks also noted how Obama staked out ground in the center on nearly every substantive issue, including the deficit. Brooks wrote: “Obama rested the credibility of his presidency on what you might call the Dime Standard. He was flexible about many things, but not this: ‘I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.’ This sound bite kills the House health care bill. That bill would add $220 billion (that’s 2.2 trillion dimes) to the deficit over the first 10 years and another $1 trillion (10 trillion dimes) to the deficit over the next 10 years. There is no way to get from the House bill to deficit neutrality. The president’s speech guarantees that the more moderate Senate Finance Committee bill will be the basis for the negotiations to come.”
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