The Corner

Obama’s Peculiar Pitch

The White House’s proposed means of paying for the “jobs bill” the president called on Congress to adopt last week really sheds light on the cynicism and confusion at the heart of the president’s new campaign theme. In order to be able to insist that he is proposing ideas but Republicans are unwilling to act, the president will apparently propose exactly the same set of massive tax increases that even Democrats in a Democratically-controlled Congress were unwilling to consider in the midst of the Obamacare debate in 2009. Obviously, having proven unable to persuade his own party to raise those taxes by that much during his prime, the president will be unable to persuade Republicans to do so now. But since evidently his re-election strategy will involve arguing that he is incapable of persuading congress to act, the Republicans’ rejection of massive tax hikes should help him make his case.


If telling voters you’re unable to do your job were a wise re-election strategy, this might be a clever way to do it. But it isn’t.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.


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