Even last week it would have been hard to predict Barack Obama releasing a deficit reduction proposal that garnered warm praise from the left. But that’s exactly what his plan, which calls for $1.5 trillion in tax increases, $1.1 trillion in war savings and $580 billion in adjustments (reductions) to entitlement programs, got today — and his messaging would seem to reflect a desire to fire up the base as the Republican primary accelerates.
“This is not class warfare. It’s math,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden. “If we are not willing to ask those who have done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit… then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more.”
Daniel Mintz, Campaign Director at MoveOn.org, praised the president.
“For months, hundreds of thousands of members of the American Dream Movement have been urging Washington to focus on creating jobs and making our tax system work for all Americans, not just the super rich. Today, we’re glad to see this message reach the White House. Americans need jobs not cuts, paid for by making millionaires and corporations pay their fair share. The Tea Party led Republicans in Congress have made their position very clear. They want to eliminate Medicare as we know it just so they can protect tax breaks for the rich, all the while doing nothing to create jobs,” he said.
“The only way out of the economic hole we are in is to put Americans back to work. The President has laid out a clear vision to do that. Any Republicans, and Democrats, who oppose these common sense, hugely popular proposals will be standing in the way of a real recovery.”
Indeed, supermajorities of Americans have made clear they back hiking taxes on the rich and ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. As if to confirm the political wisdom of the plan, Mark Penn, the strategist/consultant that helped wreck Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid and has generally made a fool of himself since, slammed it as damaging to Obama’s reelection bid.
“America wants to see the president focused on stimulating jobs and innovation, not on raising taxes in a near recession,” he said. “The president could be out there with tax reform that promotes America’s greatest asset — the country’s hard working and ever successful professionals — and yet raises funds by closing the gap on taxes on capital. He could have tax reform that righted the balance between capital and wage income without opening up class warfare. And he could be moving forward on immigration reform, on trade deals, on new policies and programs that put America at the frontier of new technologies on energy and pharmaceuticals.
“Instead, the president has wandered into the thicket of class warfare that will only compound the difficulties before his climb to re-election.”
MoveOn is so happy with the more populist pitch Obama is making these days that they immediately put out a TV ad to assist him: