Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The President has a Plan

Tom Friedman is the latest pundit to complain that President Obama is sitting out the budget debate:
Here we are in America again on the eve of a major budgetary decision by yet another bipartisan ‘super committee,’ and does anyone know what President Obama’s preferred outcome is? Exactly which taxes does he want raised, and which spending does he want cut?
Well, actually, you know, the President does have a plan, which you can read online at the White House web site. In fact the President is required by law to have a plan. Maybe those long-term budget plans are often kabuki shows, but Obama's plan is pretty high profile and some parts of it have been regularly in the news. For example -- surely even Tom Friedman must have heard this -- he wants to phase out the Bush tax cuts for everyone earning more than $250,000 a year.

Perhaps Friedman is confused because Obama has offered to give up some of the things in his own plan to make a deal with Republicans, leaving it uncertain what sort of compromises he would accept. But it is sheer laziness to say that nobody knows what kind of tax and spending plans Obama wants.

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