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View Diary: President Obama's Opening Move: Raise $1.6 Trillion In New Tax Revenue From The Wealthy (222 comments)

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  •  Greg Sargent puts a fine point on it this morning (0+ / 0-)

    Last year, when President Obama was negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner to raise the debt ceiling, he offered a deal that would raise $800 billion in revenue over the next 10 years, while also making cuts to Medicare and Social Security in the form of stingier benefits and a higher retirement age. From the perspective of liberals — and Obama’s own agenda — this was a terrible idea. A figure of $800 billion isn’t nearly enough to fund future obligations, and the proposed (regressive) cuts to entitlement programs would unfairly burden middle- and lower-income seniors who rely on income from Social Security and health benefits from Medicare.

    It should be said, however, that this deal was negotiated when Obama was near the nadir of his popularity. Unemployment was still above 9 percent, and his approval rating had fallen to the low 40s — he was on track to defeat, and he lacked the political capital necessary to push against Boehner and the House Republicans.

    Now, of course, he’s in a much better position: With a solid reelection win and expanded Democratic majorities in the Senate, he has real leverage. And as such, he’s offering a deal that’s much better for liberals, and much less favorable to Republicans. Instead of $800 billion in revenue, he’s calling for $1.6 trillion, drawn in large part from increased taxes on the wealthy. But this isn’t a new plan — it’s what’s outlined in his 2013 budget, and — by and large — it’s what he campaigned on.

    (cont... with details)

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