He’s got a deficit-reduction package that can’t clear the House, thanks to massive new tax hikes that everyone knows are a deal-killer.  He has a jobs package that can’t clear the Senate.  What’s a President to do?  Threaten a veto:

President Obama warned he will veto any deficit plan brought to him by Congress that wasn’t ‘balanced’ between taxes and spending cuts.

‘We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable,’ Obama said Monday morning, speaking from the Rose Garden.

He rejected accusations that tax increases for the wealthy was ‘class warfare’.

The president argued, as he has repeatedly, that wealthier Americans ‘shouldn’t get a better deal than ordinary families.’.

“This is not class warfare, it’s math. The money’s going to have to come from some place,” the president said, speaking to reporters. “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit, the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more. “

What’s so surprising about this rhetoric is how unsurprising it is.  Obama has been making this same exact argument for years, starting in the 2008 campaign, but accelerating last year.  Obama made the exact same argument — and veto threat, too — just before caving in December 2010 and agreeing to extend the Bush-era tax rates.

The threat is as empty as the rhetoric.  Let’s say for argument’s sake that the House and Senate passed a bill that accomplished significant deficit reduction through entitlement reform without Obama’s John Edwards-like Two Americas tax policy.  Does anyone believe that Obama would veto a bill backed by both a Republican House and a Democratic Senate?  Would Obama really want to make himself look like the least bipartisan political leader in Washington DC?  There isn’t a chance in Hades that he would veto such a bill, even though getting such a bill to the White House would have almost as small a chance in the first place.

With even his own party insisting that they’re not going to bite on more spending and higher taxes, Obama’s already starting to isolate himself on economic policy.  He issued this warning in a sad attempt to impress a few people on the Left with his “leadership,” but issuing empty threats isn’t real leadership.  It’s an expression of political impotence.