Stewart's dismay is amusing , yet mildly irritating -- as is often the case with his political humor:
I'll admit that watching the Left eat itself alive is satisfying schadenfreude theater -- especially after weathering the fierce internecine conservative battle over this deal. But it's also rather frustrating because Stewart's viewership is comprised many young people, who (surprise!) happened to be the least engaged and informed demographic on the debt ceiling debate. Stewart's chiding of the president is rooted in the underlying assumption that he naively abandoned a politically-necessary program of tax increases because Republicans are ideological lunatics. The indisputable fact is that ever-increasing federal spending is the driver of our debt crisis, not insufficient "revenues." See here and here. The best way to increase government revenues is to foster economic growth and higher employment -- which would spike receipts and swell the tax rolls. Perhaps if the President devoted more attention to these goals, he could abandon his redistributionist talking points about punishing the successful.
And if Stewart is really bummed that "the rich" weren't forced to contribute their "fair share," there's always this option.* Shared sacrifice, Jon!
*UPDATE - I'm reminded that leviathan's insatiable appetite consumes even this apparently fail-safe program:
As President Obama and Congress struggle to tame the nation’s runaway borrowing, a stream of checks, cash and even gold coins is pouring into a post office box in West Virginia where, for years, people who want to help pay down the national debt have been able to send gifts. But the contributions don’t specifically go to pay off existing debt. The government deposits them in the Treasury Department’s general fund, in essence the government’s main checking account. “The gifts go toward funding the federal government, not to pay off the debt,” said Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt.
Read on for donors' unhappy reactions upon discovering they've been had.
The Wisdom of Bastiat, as Revealed by Great Moments in Federal, State, and Local Government | Daniel J. Mitchell