Obama Finds A Single Vertebra On “Grand Bargain”

As I write, President Obama is holding his first presser since re-election. To hear him talk, America is filled with “the middle class” and”the wealthy” – there’s no mention of that third, larger, underclass known to non-neoliberals as “the poor”. However, he appears to have found at least one bone’s worth of spine. The Guardian’s live blog has the key quotes.

having previously ruled out extending the Bush tax cuts and then extended them, will President Obama “cave again”?

The last time was a “one time proposition,” Obama says.

The most important step we can take right not now … if we right away say that 97% of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up. That 97% of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up. And right away we can do away with the uncertainty.

After that a “package can be shaped” by “folks of goodwill of both parties”. But he again rules out “a tax cut for folks that don’t need it”.

But what I am not going to do is extend Bush tax cuts to the the wealthiest 2% – which economists have said we can’t afford.

Just closing loopholes and deductions wasn’t going to be enough to make the difference, Obama says, and harks back to the election result: “If there was one thing that everyone understood between myself and Mr Romney it was that when it came to deficit reduction,” increased revenues would be needed.

Yay! Now though, let’s not allow this non-caving to become a smokescreen on the pre-caving already done on the cuts he’ll give away in return,  to Social Security and Medicare and all kinds of other stuff that will most impact those he doesn’t like to acknowledge exist.

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