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Fiscal Budget

Let's Not Make a Deal

Robert Kuttner | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The good news is that the Democrats won the election and President Obama's spine has been stiffened on the subject of taxes. The bad news is that the skids are greased for a budget deal that cuts more than necessary, risks putting the economy back into recession, and blurs differences between the parties on critical issues like Social Security and Medicare. If Obama will just realize it, he holds most of the cards. He prevailed in the election. Most voters agree that the rich should pay higher taxes. Most don't want cuts in Medicare and Social Security. But by all appearances, the eager-beaver bipartisan Obama that we saw in early 2009 (until he got his clock cleaned) is back. Despite his recent victory, if he is too eager to make a deal, he -- and we -- will get rolled. Last time, Boehner's Republicans saved Obama from himself. This time, it will be up to his fellow Democrats.