Keep going with your gut, big guy.
President Barack Obama made his first direct foray into the deficit negotiations Monday. He met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office for about 30 minutes Monday morning, and planned to meet with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in the early evening.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama’s meeting with Reid was “constructive” and the president concluded that there are still opportunities for a deal to be reached. But he said the only way to achieve that objective would be to include tax increases or the elimination of tax breaks for big companies and wealthy individuals.
“It’s the only way to get it done,” Carney said.
The White House has proposed raising about $600 billion in new tax revenue, including ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, an idea that failed in the Senate.
It failed in a Democrat-controlled Senate, and with good reason: It’s a terrible idea. I was at first tempted to post a hoary old Admiral Ackbar – “It’s a trap!” graphic on this story, but it doesn’t really merit that. Calling it a trap at least implies that the GOP might fall for it. Honestly, I don’t see that happening. So if it’s not a trap, what is this? For one thing, it’s the Democrats’ answer to everything. For another, it’s class warfare, which is also the Democrats’ answer to everything.
The administration also would tax private equity or hedge fund managers at higher income tax rates instead of lower capital gains rates, change the depreciation formula on corporate jets and limit itemized deductions for wealthy taxpayers. It also has called for repealing a tax benefit for an inventory accounting practice used by many manufacturers.
All that adds up to is a slogan of sorts: “If you’ve been successful or plan to be, we Democrats want to make you pay.” I didn’t say it was a good slogan. This all is, as Sen. Mitch McConnell says, not a serious negotiating position. But it does seem to represent President GoItAlone, eschewing the advice of his weak sister advisers and trusting his genius gut.