Fiscal Cliff: President Obama is undeniably a shrewd tactician, so long as his tactics remain unscrutinized. Right now his approach to negotiations is as unbalanced as it is dishonest.
Some presidents honorably seek great bipartisan accomplishments, hoping what they compromise away won’t go too far. The 1986 tax reform act was a perfect example.
Simplifying the U.S. tax system’s 15 brackets into two marginal rates, the top one dropping to 28%, was an astonishing achievement by Ronald Reagan that many were sure was impossible. Most remarkably, prominent Democrats supported it.
Among Reagan’s major giveaways were appeasing Democrats’ class warfare tenets by agreeing to tax capital gains at the same rate as personal income; plus the 33% “bubble” rate some in the 28% range had to pay.
This kind of honest bargaining is not what Barack Obama is currently up to. He and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are simultaneously trying to wreck the Republican Party politically by destroying its credibility as an enemy of high taxation.