The political talk now from political news outlets is about whether the Presidents "charm offensive" was sincere, and, if so, did it work. Most of the pundits are staying positive, although one White House spokesperson reportedly said the dinner with Republicans was a joke, and they did it only to please media who criticized Obama for not building relationships with the Republicans in Congress.
Republicans who attended the dinner, and Paul Ryan, who attended a separate lunch meeting with the President, all said that the dinner was positive, and that they think they can get something done. Budgets are being offered, now, and only the President hasn't sent one in, but he says it's coming. The President says his budget will concentrate on fairness, not just balance, and that he will not cut government spending on the backs of the poor, the elderly, the middle class, the young, and so forth. This leaves the very rich, and it's impossible to reduce the deficit much by taxing the rich.
President Obama is not really concerned with cutting government spending, because he sees government spending as vital to the economy. Obama also believes, like all statists, that government has to control the economy for the good of the people. In order for government to control the economy, and for there to be economic growth, so Obama thinks, government has to be properly funded. Government has regulated businesses for decades, and the Fed has attempted to guide economic activity through manipulation of the money supply and interest rates. When government wanted to expand home ownership, various actions were taken to push banks to loan money to consumers that banks would not loan to before. The requirements to get loans were relaxed at the insistence of government officials, and banks that didn't comply were accused of discriminatory lending and forced to play the game. The Fed did all it could to get interest rates low and keep them low. We all know now what happened - there was a housing bubble and a crash.
Investors and consumers and business owner and entrepreneurs and everyone involved financially went through the dotcom boom and bust then the housing boom and bust, so now the economy is stalled, as no one has confidence in government management of the economy. Certain Big Businesses will play the game, because they have money, connections and talent smart enough to play and profit. Some Big Businesses have gone to the global market to make their money. But, in the US, small businesses have been hurt, and they're frozen in uncertainty. Government, however, sees this stagnation as an opportunity to control even more of the economy and to stimulate the economy with more government spending.
Consumers, entrepreneurs and investors aren't starting up businesses like they would if they had confidence in the rules of the game and if they knew the costs of doing business, but no one knows what government is going to do or cost businesses going forward. Obama and the statists in government need more money, and they are determined to get it any way they can. They would just drive up deficits without any thought of controlling spending, but the public is making too much of deal about debt, and politicians are afraid that other countries might start demanding more financial responsibility, even though the US is given more latitude to spend than other countries. Obama has been forced to show some signs of financial responsibility, but what he wants to do is take more money from the private sector and spend it on his agenda.
Although Obamacare is in trouble due to it's problems with implementation, it will go forward, as will Dodd-Frank, even though it's been stalled by special interests pushing back. Obama now wants to expand State-run education and alternative energy production. Alternative energy, if Obama and the Progressives have their way, will be State-guided. If the Progressives have their way, alternative energy will be heavily subsidized, thus creating the strings to make energy production one more economic activity under the control of the State. The State now controls education, finances, healthcare and soon it will control energy, among all the other regulated activites in which government has it's many hands. This means that the State effectively controls all major economic activity. Now that cyber warfare is a big concern of the government, and seeing as how Google and Facebook have close government relationships, I expect the internet and technology to be next areas over which the State expands its control.
Libertarians and limited government/Constitutional conservatives have warned of the State's natural tendency to expand power and control once limits on power are removed. Because limited government proponents have fought against State expansion of power, they are vilified by the political establishment -- statists in both parties are now attempting to marginalize any libertarian influence in government. Let's hope that the inspiration generated by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a few others will continue to grow. If there is no opposition to Progressivism, the State will destroy our economy and keep us bogged down in military conflict after military conflict. The State renders the people pliable by spreading fear of an enemy. The "enemy" will shift from this to that. Americans have to wake up, educate themselves, and take charge of their government. The Grand Bargain you'll hear about soon is no bargain except for the political players and their cronies making the deals.