President Obama, I believe, made two crucial decisions, deciding perhaps (at least in the first case) by choosing not to decide that make his grandstanding on the tax issue little more than political demagoguery. In the first case, he chose not to stand up to congressional Democrats when they presented him with their $800-billion dollar “stimulus.” The second was when he agreed to extend the tax Bush tax cuts.
Now, wherever he goes, whatever he does, he talks about shared sacrifice and people paying their fair share, by which he means that he wants Congress to tax “millionaires and billionaires.” Yet, if he thought we needed to raise more revenue from taxpayers, why then did he sign off on extending the tax cuts? WIthout doing anything, they would have just lapsed and, presto chango, millionaires and billionaires (not to mention small business owners) would be sacrificing a little more to Uncle Sam.
And today the president and the various left-of-center pundits are lecturing Republicans for rejecting tax increases altogether. Yeah, but Republicans didn’t support the Democrats’ supposedly stimulative spending spree which the president pushed without providing a means to pay for it. And now the president’s supporters are demanding Republicans support tax increases to pay for that ill-advised piece of profligacy. And pay the political price for it as well.
The primary reason Republicans are focusing on spending cuts is because the Democrats have ratcheted spending up to levels so high that George W. Bush looks stingy by contrast. Many of us who would be happy just getting spending down to Clinton-era levels.