Everything old is new again, as Peter Allen once sang. Barack Obama takes a ceremonial oath of office today to start his second term, but it looks like his team is still singing from the first-term hymnal. Senior political adviser David Plouffe appeared yesterday on ABC’s This Week to give a preview of the second term, and guess what? The new Obama administration wants more taxes just like the old Obama administration:
White House senior adviser David Plouffe said on Sunday that despite Republican warnings that the tax debate is over, President Obama would not accept a budget deal without additional revenue.
“We are going to require some more revenues,” Plouffe told me on “This Week.” “John Boehner himself said he thought there was $800 billion in revenues from closing loopholes. We’ve dealt with the tax rate issue, now it’s about loopholes.”
“And I think the country would be well served by tax and entitlement reform because it would help the economy,” he added.
Plouffe said that Obama has met Republicans “more than halfway,” and that any deal needs to be “balanced.” Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, have said that the revenue debate is “over” and that they would not negotiate with the White House for additional revenue in a budget deal.
“We need spending cuts and entitlement reform and revenue. Have to have that,” Plouffe said.
There are two problems with that approach. First, the White House got the tax increases that they claimed would fix the deficit problem in January. At that time, Obama and his allies in Congress ridiculed that very reform-oriented approach floated by Boehner repeatedly over the last two years. They claimed it was a dodge to benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class.
Now they want Boehner to push it again as a revenue-enhancer, but Republicans aren’t going to bite on that without comprehensive tax reform for both individuals and corporations. That means broadening the tax base while closing deductions and loopholes, which Republicans have proposed as a revenue-neutral approach that will boost economic growth and simplify tax collection and enforcement. They’re not going to pass something that simply raises taxes on a small portion of the tax base without the comprehensive fixes, and this time they don’t have a sunset clause pushing them to avert disaster.
The second problem is that Americans want spending cuts in the second round, and not just the “I cut $1.4 trillion in spending increases so I can brag about signing cuts” kind of action, either. That’s why the GOP would be smart to let the sequester hit and then come back and say (truthfully) that it’s still woefully insufficient to close the deficit and stop piling up national debt at a trillion dollars a year.
The entire segment is below:
Just the same old song.