President Obama on Friday said “the hour for immediate action is here” to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” that will increase everybody’s taxes by letting President Bush’s tax policies die.
For most people, the time for immediate action has come and gone, but that wasn’t the real purpose of the Roadblock in Chief’s press conference late Friday.
Obama has always been OK with letting the Bush tax policies expire. Despite all his blather about support for the middle class, Obama loves the thought of raising taxes on everybody.
In opposing the Bush policies previously, Obama blamed them for the country’s deficits and characterized them as an unwarranted sop to “rich” people, all as part of his class warfare strategy of winning Democrat votes.
The orchestrated “fiscal cliff” debate is about the imminent expiration of those cuts, which for years have helped keep down everybody’s tax rates and have probably done more long-term stimulating of the economy than anything Obama has ever proposed.
The late-Friday press conference — time chosen to discourage any possible response from the GOP and to dominate the weekend TV news shows — was designed to set up the narrative of a responsible Obama making reasonable requests of the irresponsible, upper-class-coddling Republicans.
He emphasized repeatedly that Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell were working on a compromise to be voted on by Congress this weekend, but should that fail — here’s the key — then Obama had ordered Reid to bring forward a “bare minimum” bill to “cut” taxes on the middle class and extend unemployment benefits.
In other words, Obama has not given an inch and is setting up a situation where he is daring the GOP to vote against his plan to raise taxes on small businesses and anybody else making $250,ooo or more per year.
Once that happens, Obama will have Reid bring up essentially the same plan again for a “straight yes or no” vote, as the president characterized it. In other words, Reid will ram the plan through the Senate one way or another.
The “Bush tax cuts” that were so evil, according to Obama and the Democrats, will then become the “Obama tax cuts” for the middle class, with the top end lopped off.
This will put the House Republicans in the no-win position of either rejecting a deliberately last-minute, “bare minimum” plan to “help the middle class” or giving in to Obama’s scheme to raise taxes on small businesses in an ongoing recession.
Either way, the GOP loses and the Imperial President wins.