Saying he was happy to be back out in the country for the first time since his reelection, Obama once again claimed a mandate from voters on his approach to taxes and encouraged people here and across the country to pressure lawmakers in coming weeks to come to a deal.David Firestone:
“This was a central question in the election, maybe the central question in the election,” Obama said, speaking at the Rodon Group, a manufacturing firm that makes toys based on Nintendo and Angry Birds products, among others.
Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.
But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.
Josh Barro (conservative):
Why Conservatives Must Surrender on 'Redistribution'Robert Kuttner:
Liberals talk about booming incomes at the top while lower-income households barely see benefits from economic growth. Conservatives talk about a rising share of the population that depends on government benefits and a shrinking share that pays income tax.
Though the frames are different, these are descriptions of the same economic phenomenon: rising inequality of pre-tax incomes. But only liberals are advancing a semblance of an agenda to address it.
Two things are encouraging about Obama’s stance. First, there was no backsliding on the promise to insist on restoring the pre-Bush tax cut rates on the top two brackets. Obama proposed to get about a trillion dollars from the rate hikes, and another $600 million from changes in capital gains treatment and other reforms that affect only the top brackets.Terrific and touching piece by Ron Fournier about parenting.
Equally significant is the refusal to whack Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
We’re seeing two things here. One is that the negotiations aren’t going well. When one side begins leaking the other side’s proposals, that’s typically a bad sign. The other is that Republicans are frustrated at the new Obama they’re facing: The Obama who refuses to negotiate with himself.Joe Klein:
That’s what you’re really seeing in this “proposal.” Previously, Obama’s pattern had been to offer plans that roughly tracked where he thought the compromise should end up. The White House’s belief was that by being solicitous in their policy proposals, they would win goodwill on the other side, and even if they didn’t, the media would side with them, realizing they’d sought compromise and been rebuffed. They don’t believe that anymore.
The Republicans are, reportedly, outraged by President Obama’s opening bid in the fiscal cliff talks. Republicans always seem to be outraged. It’s getting boring. They need to step up and make a counter-offer.Republicans ignoring all of the above and thinking they'll win are like Republicans ignoring all the polls and thinking they will win. And we know how that turned out.
“They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future,” said the official report. “Their lunch menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad."
You’d think they could have served meat loaf. Mitt’s favorite food is meat loaf. Also, Mitt loves practical jokes, and if Obama had really wanted to get in the spirit of things, he could have had Romney arrested by the Capitol Police in the lobby.