First, the difficulty.
It became apparent last week that the House and Senate have made no progress on resolving their differences over Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations. At issue is whether to assume that the sequestration cuts that took effect in March will continue. They are about $90 billion apart and unable to budge.
Then, in a speech last Tuesday, President Obama floated a new kind of “grand bargain”: one aimed at short-term job creation rather than long-term fiscal sustainability. The speech broke no new ground and did little to break the budgetary logjam.
While conceding that a fiscal sustainability plan must eventually be adopted, including a way to replace the sequestration cuts, Obama argued that his plan would at least address the current slow pace of job creation.
Essentially, he proposed to pay for a package of jobs programs (such as he proposed in his budget) with “transition revenue” from base-broadening corporate tax reform ideas that he proposed last year. The only new...