The heart of Mr. Obama's press conference today, via The Hill:
President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases.
"The American people are sold," Obama said. "The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically."
Throughout the press conference, Obama blasted Republicans for ignoring what he said is the will of the American people by rejecting tax increases that would balance out spending cuts in a debt package.
Let's leave aside the assertion that "the American people are sold" on increasing taxes. (They're not.) Why, particularly, do spending cuts need to be "balanced" by tax increases? There are three reasons I can imagine, and none of them have anything to do with what's "best" for the country.
- because in the interest of "fairness" more money needs to be collected and distributed from those who have
- because in the interest of "compromise" Mr. Obama expects Republicans to roll over and give him the tax increase his filibuster-proof Democratic Congress wouldn't give him, even with low GDP growth and high-unemployment
- because by demagoguing Republicans into agreeing to raise taxes he hopes to turn them all into George H. W. "read my lips" Bush before the next election.
I think the first reason is the driving force, but the third, with the President already in full re-election lockdown, is definitely a major consideration. Funny, none of those reasons involve actually helping economy grow and create jobs. Or perhaps in his next press conference Mr. Obama could explain how raising taxes will do that.
7/15/11 1930: Oh, I just don't even know how to think this way. I comletely missed reason four. Doh!!