Obama: The grinch that ruined Christmas
While Republicans are talking about how much they should get in return for their concession to the re-elected president, that same president is going public with his answer: Nada.
What Republicans had in mind was doing a big bundle of a deal that would address taxes, spending, entitlements, the soon-to-be-breached debt ceiling and other lingering concerns. They came back to town offering concessions on taxes in hopes of getting the ball rolling on doing the big deal.
But Obama is going the other way, looking to manufacture a real mandate for a top-tier tax increase and to force Republicans to eat it before the end of the year. The president is no doubt already imagining the GOP in chaos as moderate members of the Red Team jump for the tax-hike deal as the clock ticks down.
Vicious Republican primary fights and a splintered GOP House majority are the sugarplums dancing in the heads of Obama and Plouffe this Christmas season.
Having blown up the GOP over the year-end tax hikes, Obama no doubt imagines that he will be able to roll up victories on spending, the rest of the tax code and entitlements, especially the one created by his 2010 health law.
At a moment where the Republicans are trying to hand Obama the gift of a victory on taxes, the president is sending a clear message that he’s not starting the discussion until Republicans give him exactly what he wants on the extension of tax rates.
So much for the new spirit of compromise.