Sunday, December 9, 2012

How Certain Are We That President Obama Wants to Avert the Fiscal Cliff?

Does President Obama really want a fiscal cliff deal or is he faking it?

The assumption is that President Obama wants to reach an agreement to prevent the fiscal cliff on January 1.

Why are we so sure?

If President Obama wants a deal, then he is playing hard taking advantage of his leverage.

We understand by now his basic negotiating stance- it’s the old Soviet approach: What’s mine is mine, what’s yours we negotiate. He has made no counter offer to any of the Republican proposals.

We also understand that in situations where you will be continuing to negotiate and deal with others, you should leave them something to claim as a victory, even if only a little victory. Leave them some dignity.

Not President Obama, he wants total victory. As Speaker Boehner said, “It’s his way or the highway.”

He doesn’t think he needs to compromise because he controls the Bully Pulpit with a compliant media.

We suspect he does not want a deal except on terms of unconditional surrender by the Republicans. We suspect it because, as with Lucy and the football, he keeps moving it when the Republicans come close.

If the Democrats were serious about reaching a deal, then John Boehner and Harry Reid could sit down and reach an agreement in ten minutes. They did it two years ago, essentially cutting the President out of the loop.

President Obama wants to punish the “wealthy,” the Top 1%, the Top 2%, in reality as with Governor Brown of California, the millionaires, the non-middle class defined as those earning $250,000 or more.

Remember his two revealing comments during the campaign, the two that came from his heart, the two unscripted remarks, the two Freudian slips:

      “They didn’t make it,” and “Voting is the best revenge.”

He is a conviction politician. He drank too deeply from the quasi-Marxist cant of Liberation Theology. He truly believes the affluent don’t deserve it; they made it on the backs of others.

He also believes the government is the source of wealth. Thus, the government should be the instrument of transferring money from those who have to the less fortunate. It failed almost 4 centuries ago with the Pilgrims, but history was not his major.

He wants the rich to pay. It is not a matter of economics, cutting the deficit, or increasing revenues.

The President is ignorant of economics – not to mention recent history. Tax increases on “millionaires” have recently been counterproductive in England, France, Illinois, and Maryland. California is suffering an exodus of productive workers and business owners.

The wealthy have means to alter income streams; they will not be punished too harshly. Employees with W-2’s and payroll withholding are not so fortunate. They have limited means of sheltering or altering income.

He doesn’t have to compromise because taxes are going up on January 1 and military expenditures gutted. That’s fine with him. He has neither the will nor the inclination to negotiate.Why should he? Taxes are going up if he doesn't.

He against middle class tax increases, except for the ObamaCare tax increases also effective on January 1.

The Republicans will get the blame for “the middle class tax increases.” The Republicans will be blamed for the economic abyss.

Unless the Republicans surrender unconditionally or learn how to use their also considerable leverage.

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