The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s Monday morning press conference on the debt ceiling negotiations:

Look, he adopts this position of being the Olympian observer of all this – above all the squabbling. Everyone else plays politics, but he acts in the national interest. …

All of a sudden, he’s decided we have to have a big deal, not a small deal. For months he insisted we have no deal. For months he insisted that we have a debt ceiling increase with no cuts at all. And now all of a sudden [he demands] only a big deal. And he says, “If not now, when?”

How about in February, when he, as president, submitted a budget that increased the deficit? … This is a president who’s kicked the can for two years and all of a sudden has decided it has to be long-term. You know what his definition of long-term is? The day after Election Day. Anything shorter is short-term because it would hurt him politically. This has nothing to do with the requirements of the economy.

On the contrast between President Obama’s warnings on Monday about Medicare’s insolvency and his assertion last summer that Obamacare had “put Medicare on a sounder financial footing” for at least a dozen additional years:

Well, you’ve heard of situational ethics? This is situational truth. Obama will say what he needs to say at the time he says it to advance a political agenda — as he did with the individual mandate [in the health-care bill]. Remember, when he needed it to pass in the House and the Senate, he said, ‘This is not a tax.’ And now that he’s in court on the constitutionality of it [the individual mandate in the health-care bill], the administration position is, ‘Oh, of course it’s a tax.’

On Obama’s rationale for increasing taxes on high earners:

I thought the most stunning statement in the whole hour was when Obama said — about insisting on having a tax hike for the rich – he said: I will not accept a deal in which I am allowed to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income I don’t need.

Allowed to keep? Is this his conception of what taxation is? This is the liberal idea that the government owns you and your income, and it will decide in its wisdom what it will allow you to keep — after deciding what you need, what you’re entitled to, and what income is extra.

A conservative position – an American position – is that government taxes you according to what it needs in order to function. …That’s its function, not to decide what you need.

I think this is a huge gaffe that Republicans ought to play again and again. Who owns your income?

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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