Last night John Boehner announced that Republicans were abandoning an attempt to reach a $4 trillion deficit reduction deal with Obama because Obama inisted on $1 trillion in tax increases.
Obama always wants new taxes on the “rich.” As Michael Alan wrote here, Obama wanted tax increases before the credit crisis and when deficits were lower, and he wants them now. It’s an income redistribution thing; the debt ceiling “crisis” merely is the latest excuse.
Pretty much as I predicted on Thursday, Obama continues to insist on enormous tax increases as a prerequisite to dealing with entitlements, knowing that entitlement reform would not happen anyway allowing him to keep the tax increases.
Republicans balked, and sure enough, the MSM immediately started spinning it as a failure of Republicans to deal with the deficit, as in this WaPo op-ed issued just shortly after Boehner released his statement:
House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise announcement late Saturday that he was abandoning efforts to reach a comprehensive budget agreement brings a sudden end to what may have been the best opportunity in years to deal with the country’s looming fiscal crisis.
Boehner pulled the plug on talks with the White House on a package that would have called for cuts in major entitlements programs as well as new tax revenues. It was a stunning decision, coming a day before President Obama and congressional leaders were due to resume their negotiations.
Reuters issued this news alert almost immediately after Boehner’s announcement:
President Barack Obama will not back off in his efforts to solve U.S. debt problems and will make the case to congressional leaders in talks on Sunday for taking on “this critical challenge,” the White House said on Saturday.
Obama, the single most fiscally irresponsible president in modern history, is positioning himself as the only one who is serious about the debt.
While I can see the argument that Boehner had to play Obama’s game of Charades, Boehner had no choice but to hold the line on taxes. Hopefully that line will hold during talks today, because what’s old is new: For Obama, the only thing deficit reduction sounds like is more taxes.