In a meeting with House Democrats on Thursday, President Obama stressed that his administration would draw a firm line on taxes and revenues both in the deficit- and debt-reduction debates and in the buildup to the 2012 elections.
“I’ve been very clear about revenues as a part of a balanced package, and I will continue to be,” said Obama.
Underscoring his commitment, Obama noted taxes would be a defining area of contrast with Republicans on the campaign trail. He insisted that he would not compromise again on his position that the tax rates for the top earners be raised to pre-Bush levels.
It’s not that I don’t want Obama to take a hard line on taxes, it’s just that the last time he came out against the Bush tax cuts, he ended up not only extending them, but throwing in a permanent estate tax cut for good measure. He also talked a big game about Gitmo, EFCA, financial reform, government transparency, and the public option, and look how those all turned out.
Obama can say he’ll do the right thing the second time around after initially caving (remember retroactive telecom immunity?) and that’s great, but all I hear is “I promise to stand firm on Progressive Policy Goal X, and I absolutely will not be deterred by anything less than opposition from Republicans and/or conservative Democrats. If they want to stop me, they’re going to have to threaten to filibuster.”
Oh well, it’s not like taxes are at historically low levels, right?