What’s going on here? Having taken Boehner’s sword, and then his shirt, Obama sent Geithner to demand Boehner’s trousers. Perhaps this is what Obama means by a balanced approach.

He pretends that Boehner’s offer to raise revenue by eliminating deductions rather than by raising rates is fiscally impossible.

But on July 22, 2011, Obama had said that “$1.2 trillion in additional revenues . . . could be accomplished without hiking tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process.” Which is exactly what the Republicans are offering today.

You’ve heard of situational ethics. This is situational mathematics. …

Such nonsense abounds because Obama’s objective in these negotiations is not economic but political: not to solve the debt crisis but to fracture the Republican majority in the House. Get Boehner to cave, pass the tax hike with Democratic votes provided by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and let the Republican civil war begin.