On CBS’s Face the Nation this morning, David Axelrod was asked whether President Obama, with his relatively narrow victory on Tuesday, had won a mandate. Axelrod demurred on the general question, but suggested that the president did have a mandate to do one thing: increase taxes on the rich. About letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $250,000 a year, Axelrod explained, “on this particular issue, it wasn’t close,” referring to exit polling about tax increases for wealthy Americans.
He went on to make the more questionable assertion that “every objective person who’s look at this agrees” that the budget deficit can only be closed by raising revenue. As to how that revenue might be raised, he explained that “the president believes it’s more equitable” to ask only the top 2 percent of Americans to pay higher taxes.