Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama Preparing To Play Chicken On Fiscal Cliff Issue. Yeah, Right.

If there's one leadership (or lack thereof) trait about President Obama that's always bugged me, it's his willingness to fold when the GOP takes the country hostage. We saw it in 2010 when he buckled to GOP pressure and dropped the Dream Act and extended Bush tax cuts for the rich, all to avoid a Government Shutdown. We saw another episode last year during that debt ceiling debacle.

In short, if the opposition holds his feet to the fire long enough, he'll eventually just give them what they want, because he doesn't want a catastrophe to occur on his watch. Of course, he fails to realize that the opposition doesn't really want a catastrophe either, they just want what they want. And for the most part (with the exception of ObamaCare and the Stimulus) they've gotten what they wanted, but just strongarming the President, knowing he'll buckle under pressure.

On an loosely related note: Man, would I love to buy a used car from Barack Obama![1]

So color me unconvinced that the President's sudden tough guy stance is gonna end any differently that his previous tough guy stances.
President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials said.

Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say.

In the days after the November election, the tables will be turned: Taxes are scheduled to rise dramatically in January for people at all income levels, and Republicans will be unable to stop those automatic increases alone.

If he wins reelection, Obama may finally be able to dictate the terms of a bipartisan debt-reduction deal. And if he loses to Republican Mitt Romney, Obama could make sure that tax rates rise before he hands over the keys to the White House on Inauguration Day in late January.

Obama has never explicitly said whether he is prepared to let the new year arrive without taking action to avoid the cliff. Some Republicans, noting that the president has backed off demands for higher taxes twice in the past, are skeptical that he will stand firm now. But his veto threat challenges Republicans to a dangerous game of chicken over a fiscal event that would raise taxes for nearly 90 percent of households, slice deeply into military and domestic budgets, and probably spark a brief recession.

Administration officials declined to say whether the veto threat will stand if Obama loses the election.
My prediction. Obama wins re-election, and still gets punked into extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy another 4 years.

Question: Will the President put his foot down, or will that foot just get stepped on, as usual?!?

[1] Let it marinate.

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