The President who once claimed that he wanted to unify the country has a funny idea of how to make peace. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC that the White House is "absolutely" ready to careen over the fiscal cliff if they don’t get their way on taxes for the wealthy.
When Geithner was asked, "If Republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff?" he responded, "Absolutely. We see no prospect for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest."
So what’s the underlying issue here? It’s clear that Obama knows additional taxes on the wealthy won’t make a smidgen of difference in tackling the nation’s debt.
There are two agendas for Obama. By pushing the meme of class warfare against the rich, he feeds the discontent that fueled both of his election victories and solidifies the public’s perception that the Democrats are the party of the victimized.
The other agenda Obama is pursuing is the real killer: his insatiable desire to be able to raise the debt limit at his command and spend us into oblivion. Geithner indicated just that, asserting that Obama’s control over the debt limit had to be part of any deal.
There was, of course, the usual obfuscation; Geithner said he and the White House might look at spending cuts and entitlement reforms, but only if the wealthy were hit with increased taxes:
If Republicans recognize this basic reality, that rates are going to have to go up as part of a balanced plan... we will be prepared to do a substantial amount of meaningful reforms on the spending side, including entitlements. We think there's a lot of room for movement on that side, provided there's that recognition.
Obama doesn’t just want the fiscal cliff to come; he wants the power to spend America over the cliff onto the jagged rocks below and finish us off for good.