Rich Galen

I said to the booker that Republicans wouldn't be "demanding" anything. They ran, and won, on a platform of no tax increases and cutting federal spending. They don't have to "demand" anything. They were elected on those principles.

What about extending unemployment benefits?

I said the Democrats had a responsibility to demonstrate how they were going to pay for what the Liberal "Daily Kos" put at the "$56.4 billion cost of the 13-month-long benefits extension."

I said I thought, if the Democrats (who are still in control of all the levers of power in the Congress and the White House) wanted to obey the will of the American people, they'd find the money from other Federal programs to pay for it.

As usual, the Senators nearly broke their arms patting themselves on the back for passing a new food safety bill - no matter how necessary that might have been - while the deadline to renew unemployment benefits at midnight last night was looming.

You don't have to be a scholar of Congressional finagling to figure out that the unemployment benefit extension will somehow be tied to retaining the current tax rates and both sides will get what they want.

Sixty three Democrats in the House may be taking a new look at those unemployment benefits. In just 33 days they, too, will be unemployed having lost their bids for reelection.

In the end I got bumped because the meeting at the WH ran over, which was too bad because I knew what the issues were and what I wanted to say.

I was going to say "Obama is urging a tax increase, in the teeth of 9.6 percent unemployment and a functional - if not classically defined - recession."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at