Obama on Raising Taxes: I’m Just Giving the People What They Want!

by Andrew Stiles

The Hill reports on President Obama’s press conference earlier today:

President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats’ demand for tax increases.

“The American people are sold,” Obama said. “The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.”

Throughout the press conference, Obama blasted Republicans for ignoring what he said is the will of the American people by rejecting tax increases that would balance out spending cuts in a debt package.

“This is not an issue of salesmanship to the American people,” Obama said.

“I hope [Republicans are] not just listening to lobbyists and special interests … I hope they’re listening to the American people as well,” Obama said, citing “poll after poll” showing Republican voters, as well as Democrats, believe in taking “a balanced approach” — including both increased revenues and spending cuts in a plan to cut the deficit.

Michael Warren at The Weekly Standard explains why Obama’s characterization of public sentiment is misleading at best.

But wait. It gets better:

Obama said he is still pushing for a “big” deal to raise the debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline despite the hardening of positions on Capitol Hill.

“I always have hope,” Obama said. “Don’t you remember my campaign?”

The president signaled he is opposed to the “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal that House Republicans coalesced around Friday morning, and he challenged the GOP to “be ambitious” in proposing a package to cut the deficit.

“If they show me a serious plan, I’m ready to move, even if it requires some tough sacrifices on my part,” Obama said.

More here. And more on the GOP push for a “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal here on the homepage.

Republicans will soon have two comprehensive deficit reduction packages on the table — the Ryan budget and “Cut, Cap and Balance.” President Obama has given a speech, and that’s about it. Now he is publicly demanding a “serious” plan (i.e., one that raises taxes) from the GOP, having spoon fed the national media a bogus narrative that he has already put one forward (with lots of really significant spending cuts, take his word for it) in the negotiations. Uh, not quite.

So to answer your question, Mr. President, of course we remember your campaign. We’re still waiting for it to end.

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