Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio called out the fundamental unseriousness of President Obama’s fiscal-cliff plan and accused him of merely trying to win a political trophy rather than solve any substantive problems. Sen. Jim DeMint echoed that message on Thursday morning, simply and succinctly laying out the case that our only real problem is a size-of-government problem (emphasis mine):

Most of us here are not in the loop of what they’re discussing, but I do know this: This government doesn’t need more money — this country needs less government. To take more money out of the real economy and give it to politicians and bureaucrats, no matter who you take it from, is not going to help the middle class or anyone else. The president’s proposal clearly is not a plan, it’s not a solution, it’ll fund the government for a few days. We all realize it’s a political trophy, not a solution. The president’s been campaigning against these tax rates for a long time, and he’ll probably eventually get his tax increases one way or another. … He’s going to get his wish. We’re going to be raising taxes, not just on the top earners. Everyone’s going to pay more taxes next year in this country and I think that’s what the president wants. But, we’ve doubled the size of government and doubled spending over the last ten years. … Tax revenues at current tax rates will probably be at historic highs, and if you look at the facts, we don’t need more revenue, we just need to stop the spending. The president is not going to stop spending… It’s hard to work with someone who I think is intentionally trying to take us over this cliff.

As the White House has confirmed repeatedly, the issue of tax hikes are not up for negotiation and they at least claim that they are willing to go over the fiscal cliff rather than cobble together a deal without them. The president has no discernible intentions of doing anything except continuing to grow a government that’s already metastasized to a direly unsustainable size in recent years, and if he can keep up the perpetual campaign of making Republicans look bad while he’s at it, all the better.

Speaking of DeMint and his imminent retirement from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley offered some more potential clues about who she is considering appointing to DeMint’s soon to be vacant seat, via WaPo:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) opened up a bit Wednesday on how she would pick a replacement for Sen. Jim DeMint (R).

“It is not about time in office, which I think is the wrong way of looking at government,” Haley told South Carolina reporters. “It’s the effect and the result they can show in office.”

Two of the potential Senate appointees on Haley’s short list, former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford and state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Christine Templeton, have no experience in elected office.