An Oklahoma Congressman gave an interview to a Reuters reporter. He said he would join with Obama on the tax hike on the rich. On the basis of this lone defector, Reuters ran this headline: Cracks surface in Republican unity on tax rates.
It could more accurately have said: Obscure Republican Congressman Commits Political Suicide.
The story got worldwide coverage in the liberal media.
The media love a battle, especially over peripheral issues. The “fiscal cliff” is an over-hyped marginal event. Social Security taxes are gong to go from 4.2% to 6.2%, on both workers and employers. There is no fight over this.
If there is no settlement, federal spending will go up by $100 billion less, in a budget of $3.8 trillion. This is “austerity.” Give me a break!
It’s all about a fig leaf for Obama. He is facing pre-Bush tax increases. It’s back to Clinton’s tax rates. If the economy slumps, he will get blamed. He desperately wants to be a faithful Bushman on the tax issue, the same way he is on Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Homeland Security, and Administrative secrecy. But he needs a cover for his nakedness. That cover is a tax hike on the rich.
Boehner says “no deal.” This is exactly what he should say, both morally and politically.
An unknown Republican says he will vote with the Democrats. This is news? At Reuters, it is.
It’s all about giving Obama cover. The media are devoted to this.