Not only would the additional payments by those families making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 be a relatively small sum – something like one week of federal spending next year – but the president is turning down proposals that would provide similar revenues by closing loopholes.

For Obama, this is in part about principle. He believes income inequality is a huge problem facing the nation. The president also seemingly believes that by knocking down the income of the top 2 percent of earners by an estimated average of $36,000 per household, and then taking that money and spending it on government programs aimed at lower-income Americans, it will help narrow the gap between the rich and the middle class. …

But again, the president is rejecting plans that would provide similar reductions in net income for top earners, so he pretty obviously isn’t as concerned that this particular deal comports with his goal of wealth redistribution.