At his press conference today, Obama continued to bludgeon the GOP congressional leadership, by pointing out that much of their own base supports increasing revenue along with raising the debt ceiling.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Obama first knocked down the right wing media meme that defaulting on the debt is no big deal, “And for the general public — I’ve said this before but I just want to reiterate — this is not some abstract issue. These are obligations that the United States has taken on in the past. Congress has run up the credit card, and we now have an obligation to pay our bills. If we do not, it could have a whole set of adverse consequences. We could end up with a situation, for example, where interest rates rise for everybody all throughout the country, effectively a tax increase on everybody, because suddenly whether you’re using your credit or you’re trying to get a loan for a car or a student loan, businesses that are trying to make payroll, all of them could end up being impacted as a consequence of a default.”
The President also restated his desire to raise taxes on the rich,
And it would require revenues. It would require, even as we’re asking the person who needs a student loan or the senior citizen or people — veterans who are trying to get by on a disability check — even as we’re trying to make sure that all those programs are affordable, we’re also saying to folks like myself that can afford it that we are able and willing to do a little bit more; that millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more; that we can close corporate loopholes so that oil companies aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks or that corporate jet owners aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks.
Contrary to what some folks say, we’re not Greece, we’re not Portugal. It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade; we ended up instituting new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for; we fought two wars, we didn’t pay for them; we had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states — and all that accumulated and there’s interest on top of that.
And to unwind that, what’s required is that we roll back those tax cuts on the wealthiest individuals, that we clean up our tax code so we’re not giving out a bunch of tax breaks to companies that don’t need them and are not creating jobs, we cut programs that we don’t need, and we invest in those things that are going to help us grow.
Later Obama pointed out that even the GOP base disagrees with their no new revenue stance,
My Republican friends have said that they’re not willing to do revenues and they have repeated that on several occasions. My hope, though, is that they’re listening not just to lobbyists or special interests here in Washington, but they’re also listening to the American people. Because it turns out poll after poll, many done by your organizations, show that it’s not just Democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach; it’s Republicans as well.
The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. You’ve got a whole slew of Republican officials from previous administrations. You’ve got a bipartisan commission that has said that we need revenues.
So this is not just a Democratic understanding; this is an understanding that I think the American people hold that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle-class folks who are working hard every day, from the most vulnerable in our society — we should not be asking them to make sacrifices if we’re not asking the most fortunate in our society to make some sacrifices as well.
President Obama hinted that the GOP will pay for rigid no compromise stance at the polls in 2012,
I am going to keep on working and I’m going to keep on trying. And what I’m going to do is to hope that, in part, this debate has focused the American people’s attention a little bit more and will subject Congress to scrutiny. And I think increasingly the American people are going to say to themselves, you know what, if a party or a politician is constantly taking the position “my way or the high way,” constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions, that we’re going to remember at the polls.
It’s kind of cumulative. The American people aren’t paying attention to the details of every aspect of this negotiation, but I think what the American people are paying attention to is who seems to be trying to get something done, and who seems to be just posturing and trying to score political points. And I think it’s going to be in the interests of everybody who wants to continue to serve in this town to make sure that they are on the right side of that impression.
Obama not only turned up the pressure on congressional leaders, he also pointed out that most of their own base disagrees with their position. The latest Gallup poll found that 74% of Republicans believed that some revenue increase will be necessary to balance the budget. A Quinnipiac poll found that 67% of voters want taxes raised on the rich and corporations, and an overview of 19 different polls found that Americans support increasing taxes to reduce the deficit.
The President has pressed the Republicans to the point where they have shifted from claiming that the deficit is the greatest threat facing America to a position of eh, it is no big deal if we default. Every day, the President is continuing to push his advantage on this issue. Obama has made it clear that there will be no escape hatches opened. Republicans are going to have to do what most of America wants done, or they will face the political consequences.
Republicans thought they knew Obama. They thought that they could bully him around. The GOP leadership (along an assortment of far left ideological jihadists and firebaggers) believed that the very threat of default would send Obama scurrying to meet their every demand. They all have gravely misjudged this president. There will be no saving face for the GOP on the debt ceiling issue. They are going to have to agree to raise taxes on the rich, or face the vengeance of the American people after they wreck the economy for a second time in less than four years.
President Obama is not only winning this one, he is routing the GOP.
The Republican congressional leadership is a lot like the Wicked Witch of The East in the Wizard of Oz. It must feel like one day out of the blue a (white) house fell from the sky and crushed them. They never saw it coming.
GOP Totos, you’re not in Kansas anymore.
2012, here we come.