The president will also finally have to show his math. He has argued his entire presidency that America’s debt hole could be filled by soaking the rich. He’ll now get his way, in a bill that likely provides $800 billion in revenue over 10 years, or $80 billion a year. To repeat: $80 billion a year. That is 7% of the $1.1 trillion deficit Mr. Obama ran in fiscal year 2012 alone. His tax hikes in hand, he can now explain why the hole keeps getting bigger.

Especially as no further tax revenue will be forthcoming. The president’s grand plan was to pocket the top tax rates and commit the GOP to later tax “reform” worth an additional $800 billion in closed tax deductions. His leverage has been holding hostage the middle-class rates. That hostage will now be dead. The GOP will have no reason to give him more. …

Finally, he’ll have lost his chance to solve his debt-ceiling problem. The press’s judgment is that last year’s debt-ceiling fight was politically bad for both sides. The Republican recollection, by contrast, is that they forced Democrats to give them $2 trillion in cuts—and that was with the threat of a tax increase hanging over their heads. Mr. Obama won’t have even that leverage next time around.