President Obama says Republicans are not playing fair in the debt negotiations. He says Democrats are willing to allow spending cuts, but Republicans need to put tax hikes on the table. In other words, Dems will only do a good thing (cut government spending) if Republicans agree to a bad thing (tax hikes). This makes sense assuming that (1) tax hikes won’t hurt the “recovery,” and (2) we’re not taking in enough money (as if $2 trillion-plus in annual revenue is not enough).
Neither of these things is true, and the president knows it–or ought to. Not only shouldn’t we raise taxes; we need to keep the debt ceiling where it is (or even lower it). Ten years ago, our federal deficit was about $200 billion. Today, with slightly higher revenue, it’s $1.5 trillion. Our red ink problem must be addressed with spending cuts, not tax hikes.