If I’m hearing what I think I’m hearing, it sounds like Obama is going to concede raising taxes on the rich to ensure that taxes on everyone doesn’t go up. He says that he still wants increased taxes on the rich, but if he can’t get that he’ll take a basic package:
“BUT if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote, one that protects the Middle Class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to the 2 million Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction.”
I admit I have no idea what he means by “and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction”. But it doesn’t sound like raising taxes on those making $250k. He’s basically saying he wants to keep Middle Class taxes from increasing and unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans, but that’s it. Sounds like he’s really saying he’s willing to extend the current tax rates for another year or so, to fight the 250k battle another day.
UPDATE: Just to clarify, I know that Obama wants his original deal or something akin to it that includes raising taxes on the rich. But he says clearly “BUT if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell…” which means to me that the best deal that can be worked out here is a deal that doesn’t raise taxes on anyone. So if I’m McConnell, I stand firm on no tax increases and get the basic deal which leaves all of them in place and accepts unemployment spending.
The debt ceiling is coming up next where they will fight again and hopefully with a new Speaker.