On Wednesday, President Obama escalated his public relations campaign to disguise the bipartisan drive for austerity for workers and tax cuts for the rich behind a façade of “balance” and “fairness.” Flanked by a group of what the White House called “average middle-class taxpayers,” he reiterated his call for congressional Republicans to agree to immediately extend the Bush-era tax cuts, due to expire January 1, for households making less than $250,000. At the same time, he repeated his public insistence that any deal to avert the tax increases and automatic spending cuts dubbed the “fiscal cliff” allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the 2 percent of households earning more than $250,000.
The top Republican congressional leadership has rejected raising tax rates on the rich and instead proposed increasing revenues exclusively by capping tax deductions. At the same time, the Republicans are demanding that Obama and the Democrats spell out their proposals for “reforming” Medicare and Medicaid.
On Friday, Obama will hold a campaign-style PR event at a toy factory in Hatfield, Pennsylvania to posture as the partisan of middle-class taxpayers and warn that failure to agree on the framework of a deficit-cutting deal before Christmas will stunt holiday shopping. Meanwhile, White House spokesmen are reassuring the ruling class that the administration is committed to major cuts in social entitlements along with “comprehensive tax reform.”
While this political theater is being staged for public consumption, corporate CEOs are descending on the White House and Capital Hill for secret meetings with both parties to ensure that any eventual budget deal conforms to their agenda.
There is no 'fiscal cliff.' This was all a creation intended to gut the safety net.
It's amazing how partisanship allows reality to be concealed.
If Bush were in the White House right now, you'd have the Center for American Progress, MoveOn, The Nation, etc. all calling this out.
Instead, Barack's in the White House and these outlets help sell the gutting of the safety net.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday: