Let’s understand President Obama’s strategy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. It has nothing to do with economics or real fiscal reform. This is entirely about politics. It’s Phase 2 of the 2012 campaign. The election returned him to office. The fiscal cliff negotiations are designed to break the Republican opposition and grant him political supremacy, something he thinks he earned with his landslide 2.8-point victory margin on Election Day.
This is partisan zero-sum politics. Nothing more. Obama has never shown
interest in genuine debt reduction. He does nothing for two years, then
spends the next two ignoring his own debt-reduction commission. In less than four years, he has increased U.S. public debt
by a staggering 83 percent. As a percentage of gross domestic product,
the real marker of national solvency, it has spiked from 45 percent to
Obama has never once publicly suggested a structural cut in
entitlements. On the contrary, he created an entirely new entitlement —
Obamacare — that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will increase spending by $1.7 trillion over 11 years.
he thinking? Doesn’t Obama see looming ahead the real economic cliff — a
European-like collapse under the burden of unsustainable debt? Perhaps,
but he wants to complete his avowedly transformational
social-democratic agenda first and let his successors — likely
Republican — act as tax collectors on the middle class (where the real
money is) and takers of subsidies from the mouths of babes.
possibly Obama will get fiscal religion and undertake tax and
entitlement reform in his second term — but only after having destroyed
the Republican opposition so that he can carry out the reformation on
his own ideological terms.
What should Republicans do? Stop
giving stuff away. If Obama remains intransigent, let him be the one to
take us over the cliff. And then let the new House, which is sworn in weeks before the president, immediately introduce and pass a full across-the-board restoration of the George W. Bush tax cuts. (Full Story at WaPo)