Obama: I’ll veto any bill that isn’t “balanced” with tax hikes

posted at 12:05 pm on September 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

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.

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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.. but issuing empty threats isn’t real leadership. It’s an expression of political impotence.

Come on… you were complaining when Obama hadn’t offered a specific plan for cutting the deficit, and now that plan has been released, it’s a sign of political impotence? You can’t have it both ways.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM

A veto would be grand. If he does the economy does not recover next year and BoBo is unemployed as well as a good bit of the democrat senate. A veto would be good for the country.

JIMV on September 19, 2011 at 9:19 PM

This is not a solution, it is Obama’s latest re-election campaign strategy

I disagree- I see this proposal as a viable starting point. The tax increases, on a real basis, are no larger than the additional revenue generated by the loophole closures proposed by Bowles-Simpson. Despite the rhetoric around taxing the rich, spending cuts nearly outweigh additional tax revenue and those cuts do hit sacred Democrat programs such as Medicare. No one should have a problem with cuts to agricultural subsidies.

Does Obama go far enough in cutting entitlement programs? Not at all. Republicans should demand much deeper cuts, including a higher qualification age for social security and Medicare, in exchange for any new taxes. But ultimately, nothing will happen unless each political party is willing to sacrifice on the traditional ‘values’ or issues backed by special interest donors. At least Obama has put something on the table.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM

It’s an expression of political impotence.

That’s Minnesotan for ‘you ain’t got nothin!’

ted c on September 19, 2011 at 9:39 PM

t’s a sign of political impotence? You can’t have it both ways.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM

That wasn’t a plan. It was political theater designed to put the GOP in a bind. A real leader would have presented a bill that had a chance of passing.

csdeven on September 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Republicans should demand much deeper cuts, including a higher qualification age for social security and Medicare, in exchange for any new taxes.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM

A real leader would have proposed those himself instead of trying to put it all on his political opponents.

It’s a game by Obama. Nothing more.

csdeven on September 19, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Republicans should demand much deeper cuts, including a higher qualification age for social security and Medicare, in exchange for any new taxes.

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM

A real leader would have proposed those himself instead of trying to put it all on his political opponents.

It’s a game by Obama. Nothing more.

csdeven on September 19, 2011 at 10:29 PM

How did putting those cards on the table at the outset of negotiations lead him last time around?

bayam on September 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM

All these people are so stupid and clueless about how ordinary average hard working people make money. Just watched Van Holland (D), on Greta talk about how millionaires live off of cap gains and that’s how they skip paying the same tax rates the slubs do. I worked and made a salary, bought and sold stock so I had to pay taxes on my ordinary income and any cap gains which was earned with my income which was already taxed. Buffet isn’t the only one who makes money this way.

Kissmygrits on September 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM

It’s a mistake to call Obama’s approach “class warfare.” Criticize it on its own merits: It won’t work; it will make things worse. To call it class warfare is itself an act of class warfare.

rgeaste on September 20, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3