President Obama has been purposely vague about his plans for a second term and it's no wonder why. If people knew what he'd plan to do, many wouldn't be so eager to vote for him.
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes today that Obama plans to run Republicans -- and the country -- off the fiscal cliff:
If the Obama administration were to really lay out their plans, they would go something like this. In November, President Obama will reiterate, clearly and firmly, that he will veto any attempts to extend the high-income tax cuts or lift the big, dumb spending cuts without finding equivalent savings elsewhere. In fact, as my colleague Lori Montgomery reports, they’re already reiterating that promise.
That veto threat is the center of the Obama administration’s second-term strategizing. The Obama administration believes – and, just as importantly, they believe Republicans believe — that they’ve got the leverage here. The Republican position on taxes is less popular than the Democratic position. The outcome of gridlock is much higher taxes, which is more anathema to Republicans and arguably cheering to Democrats. The big, dumb spending cuts, despite being poorly timed and inanely constructed, are very progressive in their effect, falling heavily on military spending while exempting Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare beneficiaries.
I’ve called this the GOP’s dual-trigger nightmare. It’s bad for the economy, but it also effectively ends our deficits with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts more progressive than anything any Democrat has dared propose. Republicans absolutely can’t let it happen. But the only way they can stop it from happening is to make a deal.
I guess holding the economy hostage in order to get Republicans to sign onto your liberal agenda doesn't poll as well in stump speeches as hope & change.