Today, of course, he realized he HAD to get in the game. And he proceeded to do so by creating more heat than light, trotting out the hackneyed "us vs. 'the rich'" that's too often the trademark of liberalism when it comes to budget debates. But hey, when all you've got to offer is a hammer -- the same old tired class warfare -- every problem looks like a nail.
In the President's speech, the weirdest moment, bar none, was his characterization of tax hikes as an effort to "reduce spending in the tax code." It's a profoundly insulting description of non-taxing, insofar as it insinuates that government refraining from taxing Americans is somehow akin to "spending" activity by government. That would only be true, of course, if government were somehow entitled to everyone's money, and (as I once heard another former Democrat US Senator from Illinois describe it) our "leaders" were "letting [taxpayers] keep more money."
All the linguistic gymnastics, ultimately, are because even President Obama knows that no one is in favor of the usual Big Government Solution, i.e., raising taxes. Even President Obama knows that "spending cuts" are what people want . . . which is why he's resorting to this particular verbal distortion.
At some point, people are going to want President Obama to do something more than talk in generalities. Where is HIS bottom line? Wasn't this the guy who was supposed to teach all of us about leadership? Huh.