The Corner

Obama Speaks on Tax Deal

In remarks from the Old Executive Office Building, President Obama announced a tentative “framework” for a bipartisan deal on the Bush tax rates, seemingly determined to make a case for the necessity of the deal to his left flank, even as he transmitting just how distasteful he himself finds it.

“I have no doubt everyone will find something in this compromise that they don’t like. In fact, there are things in this compromise that I don’t like,” Obama said, referring specifically to the extension of current tax rates for top earners, and to an estate tax that is more generous “than I think is wise or warranted.”

Obama all but ceded that the deal amounts to a broken campaign promise, saying that “ever since I started running for this office, I’ve said we should only extend the tax cuts for the middle class” and that he “completely disagree[s]” with Republicans on the issue of top-earners. But he said that he won’t allow the tax “stalemate” to go into next year, turning taxpayers into “collateral damage” in a political fight.

“As sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do,” Obama said, in what could be seen as a signal to Democrats in Congress who think he is waving a white flag to Republicans.

But president also said that he is “confident” it will become “apparent” when the proposed extensions expire in two years that “we cannot afford to extend those tax cuts any longer.”

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster has been news editor of National Review Online since 2009, and was a web site editor until 2012. His work has appeared in The American Spectator, The American ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More