President Barack Obama's proposal to cut projected budget deficits is an attempt to buy time for the government, for the economy and for himself.
By tripling the plan he rolled out just two months ago, Obama tried to persuade wavering members of Congress to approve an increase in the government's debt ceiling that's critical to keep the government from defaulting.
By putting off much of the pain, Obama hoped to leave more time for the fragile economic recovery to take hold.
And by framing his pitch as a middle ground between Republican opposition to tax increases on the wealthy and rising liberal anxiety over spending cuts, he hoped to appeal to independent voters who hold the key to his own re-election next year.
For a guy who promised to move beyond petty partisan politics, Obama sure seems to play alot of petty partisan political games.
Maybe Obama's third deficit reduction plan (after this second plan in two months flops, too) will focus on what's best for the nation's finances rather than on "his own re-election next year".