Following President Barack Obama’s announcement on Monday that he would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for anyone making less than $250,000 a year, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer accused him of giving up on the U.S. economy.

“I think this is a declaration by Obama the fact that he’s now pivoted back to this old issue that he’s been touting for at least four years. It’s a declaration that he’s surrendered on the state of the economy and on the issue of his stewardship of it,” Krauthammer said during a panel discussion on Fox News’ “Special Report W/ Bret Baier.”

“This is a white flag. There’s no way he can defend it,” he added.

Watch the panel discussion [via Fox News]:


“When the numbers came out last Friday about the June employment numbers, which had followed the ones from May, the worst, the second quarter was the worst for employment in two years,” Krauthammer said.

“This is supposed to be the time in a recovery when the numbers are really accelerating upwards, and they are in retreat or flat.”

The conservative author continued:

So he knows this is over, and there’s no way if the numbers are like this now there’s going to be any substantive difference between now and Election Day. So that’s not an issue that he even wants to talk about. So what he’s doing is trying to shift subjects to say, “Look at the shiny object over here,” and that is the fairness equity issue, and that’s what he wants to run on, at least to try to debate and make that the centerpiece. Because again, he can’t run on economic stewardship.

There isn’t even a pretense. He tries, but there’s nobody who takes it seriously, that this taking from the rich with this tax increase for the upper incomes is going to do anything for employment, for growth, for lowering joblessness. It’s simply a matter of the government taking from the rich, and then Obama and the central government takes the money, some of it gets sprinkled on a Solyndra, crony capitalism, high-speed train on the West Coast that goes nowhere. And some of it will trickle down to the rest of us. That’s the program. And it fits in his strategy because it fits with the negative attacks on Romney.

The whole idea is Romney’s a rich guy who doesn’t care, I’m a guy who cares about equity, fairness, and the future of the middle class. That’s how it works. It’s the slight positive side of the astonishingly negative attacks on Romney. You mentioned 50,000 of them in June.

“But it’s a surrender on economic issues as a whole, on macro-economics,” Krauthammer concluded.

(H/T: NB)