Last week House Speaker John Boehner offered to increase tax revenues as part of a tax and spending deal, but AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has said that isn't good enough. The President must settle for nothing less than raising taxes by letting the Bush tax rates expire.
As for spending, well, Mr. Trumka said that Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats must oppose "any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits." His comrade, Max Richtman of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, explained that what should be "on the table" for "deficit reduction" are "tax cuts for the wealthy." Variations of this theme were expressed by MoveOn.org Director Justin Ruben to Afscme chief Lee Saunders.
Yet as President Obama knows, all the higher tax revenue he is asking for would only raise $82 billion a year under the most optimistic circumstances. The deficit last fiscal year was $1.1 trillion, and that's before ObamaCare kicks in and the baby boom cohort keeps retiring. Everyone talks about Republicans and taxes as an obstacle to bipartisanship, but the liberal delusion that entitlements can be financed by taxes alone is something Mr. Obama needs to address if he wants a successful second term.
Obama Meets With Labor Leaders
At WSJ, "Obama's Left Flank - Their advice to the President: No spending cuts, only more taxes":