Obama declares himself agnostic on a key campaign promise and the most important economic call he will make this year:
President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.
Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”
It is rather typical of him. We have come to expect a lack of policy definition, an unwillingness to make hard choices (you really do have to be for or against letting tax rates rise — it’s not a “false” choice), a cluelessness regarding the economic impact of his policies or the uncertainty they are generating, and a conceited self-portrait as a president unbound by ideology. He wants to know what works? He should look at the revenue generated by the Reagan and Bush tax cuts. He wants to know what would work to cut the deficit? Cancel the spending increases and roll back expenditures to 2007 levels.
It is not that hard — unless you find choosing, governing, and leading hard. And then the Hamlet-routine and the seeming indifference to fundamental policy decisions makes him appear craven and irresolute. You can sympathize with the Democrats. He is the captain of their ship, the party’s leader, and his best answer is “I don’t know”? The Clintons must be kicking themselves and shouting into pillows. This is the guy they lost to? Yup.