The rout was complete, the retreat disorderly. President Obama got his tax hikes — naked of spending cuts — passed by the ostensibly Republican House of Representatives. After which, you might expect him to pivot to his self-proclaimed “principle” of fiscal “balance” by taking the lead on reducing spending.
“Why,” asked the Washington Post on the eve of the final “fiscal-cliff” agreement, “is the nation’s leader not embracing and then explaining the balanced reforms the nation needs?”
Because he has no interest in them. He’s a visionary, not an accountant. He’ll pretend to care about deficits, especially while running for re-election. But now that he’s past the post, he’s free to be himself — a committed big-government social-democrat.
As he showed in his two speeches this week. After perfunctory nods to debt and spending reduction, he waxed enthusiastic about continued “investments” — i.e. spending — on education, research, roads and bridges, green energy, etc.
Having promised more government, he then promised more taxes — on “millionaires” and “companies with a lot of lobbyists,” of course. It was a bold affirmation of pre-Clintonian tax-and-spend liberalism.