During the campaign for re-election, Barack Obama at least made vague references to a willingness to accept $3 trillion of reduced spending in exchange for a $1 trillion dollar tax increase. The vast majority of his feigned belt-tightening was smoke-and-mirrors beltway accounting gimicks, but at least back then he was willing to pretend.
With the election behind him, the pretence is gone. Now it is all about higher taxes, more spending, and raw executive power. That's change you can believe in.
Re-election in hand, Obama is pitching what economist Larry Kudlow calls "a gargantuan $1.6 trillion tax hike" that would doubtlessly shackle the faltering economy even more than his policies have over the last four years. For the record, that's twice the tax increase he was campaigning on less that a month ago.
In addition he wants more – not less – spending in the form of yet another $50 billion "economic stimulus." And, taking a que from Eqypt's wannabe Dictator Mohammed Morsi, Obama is demanding new Presidential authority to "permanently increase the U.S. debt limit to avoid the need for congressional action."
Obama's phantom $3 trillion of spending cuts referenced last year during the campaign has now shriveled to a mere $400 billion – with the standard Obama "trust-me" provision demanding the tax increases now, and no more than a tease to "get back to me later, and we'll talk about those cuts."
The President conveniently doesn't identify where he's willing to cut. Most likely he is once again counting the "savings" from not fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; phantom dollars that were never going to be spent anyway.
Instead of pulling America back from the fiscal cliff, Obama just stepped on the accelerator.