In Obama's mind, tax rate hikes on the "rich" will provide him extra spending money to further tinker with the economy, redistribute wealth through spending allocations, waste billions more on green energy programs that private enterprise won't support, and increase the federal government's control over education. Obama has no interest in balancing the budget, even with tax hikes. He only views new revenues as a license to spend more.
So why do McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner think they're now in a better bargaining position to achieve spending cuts and entitlement reform? Well, that's just the question George Stephanopoulos asked McConnell on ABC's "This Week." "Are you prepared ... to see the country default if the president won't sign the spending cuts you demand?" asked Stephanopoulos.
McConnell replied that it shouldn't get to that point -- that the parties could begin working now and get a deal. He said: "It's time to confront (our spending addiction). The president surely knows that."
Seriously? Obama's known this for years, so what has changed? Is McConnell saying that Obama will now be serious about cutting spending because he's already achieved tax hikes on the rich, which we've already seen is a woefully unwarranted assumption? Or is he saying the GOP can finally expose Obama as a charlatan if he won't agree to cut entitlements?
If it's the latter, McConnell never said so, nor did he demonstrate how the GOP would be in any better position to make its case to the public than it has so far -- which is to say, not at all.
I don't grasp the thought process leading GOP leaders to believe either that Obama will now come to the table on spending and entitlements or that they would now be in a better position to expose his unreasonableness to the public if he were not to.
But maybe we're making progress if they finally believe they have some leverage and will be willing to use it. We will never convince the American public that Obama is bankrupting the country if Republican leaders don't start making their case to the people repeatedly, obsessively, with multiple megaphones.
So more power to them if they're going to be aggressive this time in articulating their case. We're quickly approaching the point that we have little to lose with a government shutdown, because if we don't cut spending and reform entitlements very soon, we'll run out of this Monopoly money, and the government will go broke.
Please let us finally have this debate in public -- a debate the liberal media will be forced to cover because it will happen in the context of a threatened government shutdown. Holding my breath.