If you saw President Obama's press conference yesterday, you may have noticed the simple brilliance of this great communicator: with ease, he set up the real, simple choice in the debt limit and deficit reduction dialog: we can keep tax breaks for the super rich, or we can pay for services that the government provides that everyone else uses, but we cannot do both.
If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we’ve got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.Barack Obama does two things here: first, he makes the choice clear. This is almost a reiteration of the theme that President Obama created back when the House Republicans voted to end Medicare - that the Republican plan was to make 33 seniors each pay $6000 extra per year so they can write a big fat $200,000 check to the average millionaire. The President knows - and the Republicans know, and the Republicans know that the President knows - that when given the choice, the American people will choose to close corporate and ultra-wealthy tax loopholes and keep these services they use. Americans have said so resoundingly - 64% support raising taxes on the rich to balance the budget, and 67% think corporations pay too little in taxes.