As I have said before, there is nothing President Obama loves so well as a crisis. If you have a shiny new crisis today you can forget about all those rusty old ones that some silly people, Republicans and other miscreants mostly, keep bringing up in conversations and at press conferences. Obama loves crises so much that he will manufacture them as needed. And he has built as beauty this time. He has built it like an onion, layer upon layer. Solve Crisis-Part A and you are faced with Crisis-Part B and so on through all those layers.
The core of this month crisis is the, so called, Bush Tax Cuts. They are due to expire. That would give every taxpayer in the country a rate increase. Since Obama loves the middle class, he wants to preserve lower taxes for them. And since he hates evil rich folks, he wants to raise taxes on them. Actually he doesn't really care much about the middle class and he loves the rich. The rich give him tons of money to play with for campaigning and stuff. Now the fact is that taxing those making over $250,000 is not going to pull the country out of the financial black hole Obama has put us in. But if enough people believe him and not think too deeply about it, he'll get their support. And, of course, most of the main stream media supports him unquestioningly. By the way, this is the Barack Obama who said that taxes ought not to be raised in a recession. Unless he really really wants to. Then it's OK.
The next layer of the onion is to proclaim that the Republicans have no ideas. So there is no point in negotiating with them. They did produce a list of ideas that are at least worth discussion. But the president's people blew them off as not balanced enough. Whatever that means. Maybe that list could be a start toward negotiating a compromise. So the president, in search of the new ideas that excite him, is heading for the golf courses in Hawaii to see if there are any good balanced ideas to be found there. Aside from that, he needs a good trip to rest up from all those other trips.
So to prove he is constantly involved, the president left Tim Geithner behind to handle the financial negotiations with the Republicans. I must remind you that Tim is the guy that couldn't get his own income tax done right using Turbo-Tax. A fine program that I have used for years. And if I can use it successfully, anybody should be able to. Now, all of a sudden, Obama's demands have changed. He now requires double the tax income, a huge increase in deficit spending, and that congress abrogate, to him, control of the debt ceiling. That is a power given to Congress in the Constitution. It is one of the "checks and balances" designed by our founders and is not to be taken lightly. Additionally, follow this for logic. The increase in deficit spending is supposed to offset the bad effects of the tax increase. Weird logic at best. Fiscal insanity at worst.
The dirty secret is that Obama wants a fiscal blowup. He wants the economy to go over the cliff because he feels that he, being a charming and likable sort of person, can lay the blame on the Republicans and destroy them in the eyes of the public for years to come. So if Geithner and the Republicans should be able to come up with a plan, the president can reject it claiming it is not satisfactory to him for any number of reasons. Then when the unemployment rate goes above ten percent and the GNP goes negative, once again he can stand up at some podium, look down his royal nose at the audience, and claim it all would have worked out if those evil Republicans had only given me what I needed. It's all their fault. This is not about the economy. This is flat out hard ball politics. And it is exactly what the nation does not need and can't afford at this time.