WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's budget overtures to Republicans may limit his bargaining power if the GOP ever returns to the negotiating table on a grand deficit-reduction deal.
In essence, Obama's spending blueprint is a final offer.
Think of it as a no-budge budget whose central elements have failed to persuade Republicans in the past.
He wants to slow the rise of Social Security benefits, but he's left himself no other gambit to win tax increases from Republicans.
And with many Democrats balking at what he's offering, it's not politically feasible for him to offer the GOP anything more.
Puzzled Democrats say Obama has given away his leverage and threatened the very identity of his party.
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