He has already, the argument goes, agreed to using the chained CPI — an inflation measure that produces lower cost-of-living adjustments to entitlement and other programs.
For this, he’s taken some heat from Democrats. So Republicans should understand that he is dealing in good faith and should be willing to agree to increased revenues by removing tax preferences for high earners.
The Obama folks are correct in saying that Speaker John Boehner was willing to do that during the summer 2011 grand bargain negotiations.
But that proposed deal did not include tax rate increases. Now that Obama extracted higher tax rates on earners over $400,000 in the fiscal cliff deal, Boehner and other Republicans insist that’s all the revenue increases they’ll agree to.
This comes amid stories that Obama’s chief political goal is helping his fellow Democrats win a House majority in 2014 and as his Organizing for Action (formerly Obama for America) is still cranking out press releases about the dire effects of the sequester.