If I had a nit to pick with Obama’s deficit reduction plan, it’s that he’s framing increasing taxes on the wealthy in the service of reducing the deficit — traditionally a Republican goal — rather around the idea that progressive taxation builds a healthier democracy. But he’s on the right track.
How do I know? Because David Brooks hates it.
We’re not going to simplify the tax code, but by God Obama’s going to raise taxes on rich people who give to charity! We’ve got to do something to reduce the awful philanthropy surplus plaguing this country!
And Ben Nelson (DLC-NE) hates it.
“There’s too much discussion about raising taxes right now, not enough focus on cutting spending.”
And Mary Landrieu (DLC-LA) hates it.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who represents a state whose economy is dependent on energy production, last week said the offset for Obama’s new spending plans, which includes the elimination of oil and gas subsidies, “was not going to fly.”
And Ross Douthat hates it.
Between the size, scope and design of the tax increases and the skimpiness of the entitlement reforms (nothing on Social Security, minimal tinkering on Medicare), it seems that the president will be running for re-election as Nancy Pelosi instead.
And Mark Penn hates it.
…the president has wandered into the thicket of class warfare that will only compound the difficulties before his climb to re-election.
Obama has spent the first 2 1/2 years of his presidency courting the Penns and the Bobos and the Nelsons, and the results have been a disaster politically. Maybe he’s finally learning.