Last night, I pointed out that President Obama seems to be standing alone as he clings to the quixotic hope that Congress will strike a debt deal that includes job-killing tax hikes:
This is not a "revenue" problem. Republicans have recognized this reality for some time, hence their strong opposition to any form of tax increases in a possible debt deal. Democrats have resisted that principle at every turn -- until today. The bipartisan deal Obama killed over the weekend and Senate Democrats' new plan both spurn job-killing tax hikes. For all intents and purposes, it's off the table. No one at that table is still talking about tax hikes except for Obama, and he knows it.
The Wall Street Journal's scathing house editorial this morning registers the same observation, excoriating the president for his transparent politicking in the face of a clear and present threat to the soundness of the US economy:
One irony is that Mr. Obama's demands for tax increases have already been abandoned by Members of his own party in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid knows that Democrats running for re-election next year don't want to vote to raise taxes, so he's fashioning a bill to raise the debt ceiling that includes only reductions in spending. But Mr. Obama never mentioned that rather large fact about Mr. Reid's effort.
Even CNN's Gloria Borger seemed somewhat befuddled -- amused, even -- by the president's unflinching projection of isolation and tone-deafness by turning a willful blind eye to this meaningful political reality:
The American people aren't impressed. The president's approval rating has crashed to 43 percent in Gallup's daily tracker -- matching his all-time low. And for all the talk of voters' discontent with Republicans outweighing their anger at Democrats (and some of that data is highly suspect), Rasmussen's lastest 'party trust' survey contains cheerful news for the GOP:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 45% trust Republicans more when it comes to handling economic issues, while 35% put more trust in Democrats. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. Taxes are a big part of the debt ceiling debate, and voters trust Republicans more than Democrats by a 46% to 40% margin on that issue.
Most voters are worried that the final debt ceiling deal will raise taxes too much and cut spending too little. Seventy-five percent (75%) believe that even if the deal includes tax hikes only on the wealthy, ultimately taxes will be raised on the middle class, too. Still, the majority of voters don’t care much for the way either political party is performing in the debt ceiling debate.