Friday, December 03, 2010

"Where Is Obama Going?"

E. J. Dionne, Jr.:
As I was passing through security at Boston’s Logan Airport on Tuesday night, a TSA worker discovered a penny in one of the bins that had just gone through the screener.

He picked up the coin, turned to a colleague and said with a grim smile: “This is your Obama bonus.”

Which made me wonder: Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?

The idea of freezing the pay of federal workers could be a sensible part of a larger, long-term deal that would combine spending reductions with tax increases. It’s an obvious element in any negotiation. But Obama simply threw in the federal workers in exchange for—well, as best I can tell, nothing. And in the short term, shouldn’t jobs and rising incomes be a higher priority than austerity?

Worse, every signal out of the White House is that it is prepared to cave in to Republican demands for a temporary extension of all of the Bush tax cuts, including those for millionaires who are in rather less need of additional income than security workers at Logan or nurses at government hospitals. MORE...

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