First, a refresher.
"I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody."
And do you remember this?
He has, in his unscripted moments, a thoroughly redistributionist soul.
Fast forward. With the 'stimulus' that cost the country over $800 billion dollars in deficit spending (which did not, incidentally, keep the unemployment level under 8%), combined with keeping that additional spending on into the future, combined with the trillion-dollar ten-year cost of ObamaCare, combined with annual deficits of $1.4 to 1.7 trillion and the failure to address the not-so-long term problems with funding Social Security and Medicare, combined with the demagoguing of "the rich," "oil companies," "business" (and, frankly, anyone who isn't a union member or a registered Democrat), let's see if you can guess what Mr. Obama wants out of the talks to raise the debt ceiling.
The key disagreement is over taxes. Democrats, including Obama, say a major deficit-reduction agreement must include tax increases or the elimination of tax breaks for big companies and wealthy individuals. Republicans are demanding huge cuts in government spending and insisting there be no tax increases.
Let's remember that, first, it is possible to see steadily decreasing deficits even without tax increases and "huge cuts" in spending, to use the phraseology of the AP report. Here's Cato's Dan Mitchell, and he'll inform you in this video about the "current services baseline" that puts the lie to those "huge cuts."
Second, remember Mr. Obama's tendency to look at the economy as a political tool for rewarding his supporters and punishing those who are not, a tendency which largely explains why he has failed to help it recover. He's been too busy rewarding the UAW and unionized Boeing employees, among others, and punishing non-unionized workers in red South Carolina, Boeing itself, and GM and Chrysler bond-holders. Who could possibly object to job-killing, economy-stifling tax increases if they're hitting the "right" people?
Who indeed. Mr. Obama doesn't just want the UAW to have a large stake in GM. He'd like his administration to have its own large stake in the entire U.S. economy, so that the wealth can best be "spread around." There is, after all, a point where "you've made enough money," and apparently he and the Democrats in Washington know just where that is.
The debt ceiling will need to go up, but taxes shouldn't, and spending cuts should be the focus of everyone in the room. If Mr. Obama wants tax increases, make him propose them for 2012. He won't do that, of course. There's an election later that year.
6/26/11 1515: Via The Corner, Sen. John Kyl lays it out.
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) says a deal to raise the debt ceiling will come down to whether or not President Obama abandons his “ideological bent” to raise taxes on the American people.
“The president has to make a decision,” Kyl said on Fox News Sunday. “Which is more important to him, solving this problem reducing spending somewhat or making sure that we raise taxes on the American economy? If that’s his ideological bent here and under all circumstances that’s what he is going to insist on, we’ve got a big problem.”
"Ideological bent," "redistributionist soul," whatever. The point here is that it's apparent that Mr. Obama has a belief that higher tax rates on the producers and job-creators in and of itself is good, regardless of the economic disincentives and contraction that might occur. I shouldn't have to point this out, but there is a name for someone with such an ideological bent.
At the end of the day, President Obama must decide how the country will proceed. “He’s got to make that choice,” Kyl said. “And the best choice, I think, is not doing anything to harm the economy.”