President Obama campaigned on a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction. He promised collaboration with Republicans.
Then he got re-elected, and the game changed.
Now the president is offering a deficit reduction plan that tilts almost completely in the direction of tax increases, leaving only vague hope of unspecified spending cuts off in the future.
Let’s be clear: This country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Mr. Obama’s vaunted taxes on the wealthy would produce eight days of federal operating cash. That’s it. Nor would they put a dent in the nation’s $16 trillion debt or its $1 trillion annual deficits.
Given that spending is the problem, the president is failing the nation and going back on his word to seek a balanced plan that both sides could live with.
He owes the electorate more than that. He owes this nation a sincere effort to find common ground with Republicans. That has to include spending cuts, particularly for out-of-control entitlements, which will be eating the budget alive in the coming years.
This newspaper has encouraged Republicans to budge, and we ask the president to do the same.
The fiscal cliff is ever nearer.