I am a big fan of the Fox News “Special Report” especially the All Star panelist Dr. Charles Krauthammer. He is brilliant and adept at taking complicated issues and reducing them to clever short bursts of highly quotable commentary. But he is wrong occasionally. Even highly respected fellow panelists like Jonah Goldberg are disinclined to challenge his logic (LINK) although Steve Hayes and Fred Barnes do engage in respectful disagreements fairly regularly. Even those occasions are more typically about the nuances.
As a mere blogger I am even less inclined to call him out but his take on the recent tax compromises is not just wrong-it’s illogical. What he’s talked about the last few nights is spelled out in his column here: LINK
I’ll defer to Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute to do a thorough breakdown of the deal here: LINK
As I have shouted from the rooftops there are no tax cuts-we’ll merely avoid the impending tax HIKES. OK. Extension of unemployment benefits typically leads to extending the high unemployment rate-so no stimulus there. But where C.K. really loses me is when he calls it a second stimulus and projects that it will lead to economic recovery and a second term for Obama. The first stimulus was a colossal failure so why does he think a second one would work?
If anything I think the GOP has won a solid victory here. They avoided a huge tax hike and if the economy does recover they can claim a role in that victory. They also have a card to play in the 2012 elections: Vote GOP or the Democrats will raise tax rates.
Since the day Obama took office there have been those on the right expecting an eventual Clintonian pivot or move to the center. I’ve sided with the minority who thought it obvious that where Clinton was politically savvy Obama was a pure ideologue, and naive and inexperienced to boot.
Obama is not pivoting. He is losing. He is finding that he is not immune from political realities and the pressures they bring. His press conferences devolved quickly into temper tantrums as he lashed out at the right and left. He is frustrated that he is merely President-not King.
His party has just lost the House and the Senate is weakened as many Democrats fear 2012. As his term nears the end of it’s second year the economy is still struggling with unemployment rising to a 25 year high of 9.8% in the most recent report. He must shoulder the blame now. The time for blaming Bush is past.
When he concedes that raising taxes on the top bracket can harm a fragile economy he reminds us that he exposed his true priorities to Charlie Gibson during the campaign (LINK). An unspecified concept of “fairness” took precedence over revenue growth. He still believes that. Voters don’t.