The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Obama’s claim that every penny of the jobs bill is “paid for”: 

The word “cynicism” is inadequate quite here. The president says no games, no politics. This is all about a game in politics. The offset he is proposing is a radical increase in taxes which he proposed in 2009 and which the Congress, dominated and controlled the entirely by the Democrats, rejected out of hand. At the time Obama wanted that money to offset Obamacare, and the Democrats rejected it. So it has zero chance of passing in Congress.

Second, it kicks in — remarkably — the tax increase, assuming it’s passed — after Obama’s election. An incredible coincidence.

And lastly, the increase in taxes — the offset — will take a decade. All the money will be spent in a year and a year and a half. It will be a decade [before] it’s paid off by congresses in the future [which are] not bound by the current congress and certainly not by a president who will have long been retired.

So it is an empty proposal. I think everybody understands that this is all about setting up a premise and campaigning on it. …

If Republicans were as cynical as the president they would agree to it [his jobs bill] entirely and hand him the economy and say in November of next year: Mr. President, it’s your economy. You run on it. …

I’m just saying: If the Republicans were to achieve a level of cynicism that we see in this proposal, they would do that. Of course Republicans like me are responsible and would never think of that. So on principle they will oppose it.

On Rick Perry’s op-ed in USA Today explaining his position on Social Security:

All of that in writing that was issued today is a way to walk back the gaffe that Perry had made in the previous debate where he called it a Ponzi a scheme, a gaffe in the Washington sense of when a politician accidentally speaks the truth. In this case, you aren’t supposed to actually say it.

And when he said it, he didn’t emphasize enough that even though it’s a fraud and even though it’s a Ponzi scheme, he wants to actually save it and make it sound. And Romney hit hard on that, as Pawlenty did today. And it’ll be an issue, I’m sure, in the debate tonight. But he’s attempting to walk it back.

And I think he can be successful, but he’s got to be careful because he shoots from the hip and that’s going to be really hard in a national campaign, where you’re under incredible scrutiny every day.

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

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