But with post-election polls showing that Americans support raising taxes on the rich, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, now places "revenue on the table" -- meaning the GOP accepts the election returns as a referendum for a "balanced approach" to dealing with our deficits and debt. By "revenue," Boehner means closing "loopholes" and "capping deductions" used by "the rich" to pay less in taxes. And more recently, fiscal conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., now says he would accept a hike in tax rates, provided the Democrats present a plan to reform entitlements.
Polls show that if Congress and the President fail to come to a deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," Republicans will be blamed. And as the Democrats pin blame, expect their friends in the media to assist with joy and enthusiasm.
The Media Research Center tells us that ABC, NBC and CBS have a distorted view of the term "balance." After the election, those networks spent way more time on the issue of tax hikes than on the issue of spending cuts. ABC, says MRC, was the worst: "In the three weeks following President Obama's re-election, 'World News' devoted more than 10 minutes, 18 seconds to talk of tax hikes and just 35 seconds to spending cuts (a 17-to-1 margin)." So much for the balanced approach.
But the problem remains how to get rich people to pay for all the things voters want: insurance companies that are forbidden from turning away people with pre-existing illnesses; federal disaster relief; the placing of millions of uninsured on Medicaid; "world-class education"; "investments" in "green jobs of the future"; regulations to combat "climate change"; extending unemployment benefits again; etc.
In 1900, government spending at all three levels -- local, state and federal -- amounted to about 10 percent of national income. Government spending today amounts to 40 percent -- or 50 percent, if one places a dollar value on the unfunded mandates imposed on states and businesses by Washington. The voters re-elected a President who increased the national debt faster and by a greater amount than any previous administration. And there are simply not enough rich folks to pay for it.
Obama, on Nov. 6, won the political argument to continue to expand government. But the election did nothing to change "the math." Memo to the middle class: Get ready, you're next.