If you‘ve read Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics, you understand all there is to know about Obama’s first fiscal cliff offer to the Republicans. In excruciating detail, Woodward showed that in the 2011 deficit reduction battle the president was unable to bring himself to put an offer on the table that would seriously address entitlement costs.
If there are two things clear about the fiscal cliff debate it’s that the Republicans won’t accept a tax increase without serious steps toward entitlement reform, and the Democrats in Congress will never on their own propose serious entitlement reform. Now that the president has been reelected, there has been hope in some quarters that he will seek to establish his place in history by leading his party to do the right thing for the country.
On the evidence of his initial offer, it’s not going to happen. Check your parachutes; we’re going over the cliff.