Projecting madly, the White House on Sunday pushed the notion that Republican intransigence is the reason that Democrats have been unable to pass a budget during President Obama’s tenure. “Right now,” said senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer on Fox News Sunday, “the approach of many Republicans, particularly the leadership in the House, is my way or the highway.”
This is certainly rich coming from an administration that has failed to garner a single “yes” vote on its budget proposals for the past several years, even from members of its own party. Continuing to push forward President Obama’s Ahab-like quest for tax increases above all other priorities, Pfeiffer said that all entitlement reform would have to be tied to higher taxes. “You can do both,” he said on ABC’s This Week. “That’s what you’ll see … What we won’t do is cut our way to prosperity.” Why cutting government expenditures would require raising taxes remains unanswered.
Nonetheless, the usual Republicans in the Senate expressed optimism over Obama’s new budget. “The president is showing a little bit of leg here,” said predictably conciliatory Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is somewhat encouraging. We’re beginning to set the stage for the grand bargain.”
The desire on the part of Senate leaders for a “grand bargain” mirrors their desperation for the long ball on immigration, gun control, and various other controversial public policy matters. Unfortunately, such grand bargains usually devolve into inextricable messes (see Obamacare). The grand bargain Obama currently proposes would raise taxes by $580 billion over the next ten years. The White House has already acknowledged that its budget proposal will never balance.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).