And guess which party he is accusing of playing Scrooge to his Santa Claus:
President Obama cast himself in the role of Santa Claus during a visit to a toy factory Friday, suggesting that Republican lawmakers should get only a lump of coal in their stockings if they don’t work with him this month to extend tax cuts for the middle class.
“I’ve been keeping my own naughty-and-nice list for Washington,” Obama told a crowd gathered on the factory floor of the Rodon Group facility, flanked by elaborate roller coasters and Ferris wheels built of Tinkertoys and K’Nex building toys. There will be some members of Congress who deserve toys this holiday season, he suggested, “and some who don’t.”
Obama didn’t leave the metaphor without conjuring up the image of Vice President Joe Biden in the White House playing with K’Nex, but the president’s message was more than evident by that point: If Republicans don’t extend the middle-class tax cuts, they’ll ruin the holiday.
The workshops and floors of the factory provided a vivid backdrop for the president’s event. As he spoke to about 350 employees and Democrats from the area, he stood near a giant American flag made of K’Nex and several elaborate toys made from the company’s building pieces.
The company has expanded its domestic operations in recent years, and the president cited Rodon officials as an example of an employer creating jobs in the U.S.
A dent in demand would hurt factories like Rodon’s as well as retailers all over the country, Obama said.
“That’s sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas,” he said. “That’s a Scrooge Christmas.”
Obama makes a lousy Santa. First of all, he’s not very jolly. Plus, his definition of “naughty” and “nice” leaves much to be desired. The president has been very naughty this past year, and especially the last few weeks as he tries to avoid the fiscal cliff. In fact, he is not negotiating. His proposal to raise taxes with unspecified cuts to the budget while borrowing $50 billion more for a “stimulus” package is so ridiculous that some Republicans laughed at it.
But Obama may have the last laugh after all. Once the GOP made it known they were open to tax increases, the president upped the ante, proposing $1.6 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. This is far more than any Republican is willing to go and, coupled with the unspecified amount of budget cuts (of which entitlements are probably not on the table) and the positively bizarre notion of another stimulus package, the president has guaranteed that Republicans will not accept the deal.
Of course, the press is already blaming the GOP for being obstructionists — just as Obama knew they would. Ergo, Obama is sitting pretty while Republicans are scrambling to come up with some kind of a counteroffer. With time running out, the prospect of a significant breakthrough fades considerably.
Something that Santa had planned all along.