Is Obama Serious About Avoiding the “Fiscal Cliff”?

There is an argument to be made that he doesn’t care if it does happen – from Zero Hedge:

…Here is why our leader has no desire to settle this affair before it gets put into effect.

  • It will impose tax hikes on everyone who pays federal income taxes (not just the 2%)
  • It will cut entitlements without his having to support the actions
  • It will reduce defense spending without him ‘looking soft’ as Commander-in-Chief
  • It will end the ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ automatically
  • It will probably slow economic growth (GDP)

Why would our President want these things to take place?

  • He would get the extra tax revenues to use without being blamed
  • He could not be held accountable for breaking his ubiquitous pledge to never raise taxes on the bottom 98%
  • He would not be the one cutting entitlements, it would be ‘out of his hands’
  • He prefers to cut defense spending rather than social programs
  • He can later ‘give back’ tax cuts to the Middle Class
  • He can then call them the ‘Obama Tax Cuts’
  • He can blame those damn ‘Obstructionist Republicans’ for the next recession

For B-Rock the Sequestration is a ‘Dream Act’ to accomplish many of his goals and dreams without any accountability. Every negative can be blamed on the Republicans even as he allows his stated preferences to be overridden by the forced actions imposed on him…

There is some sense to that.  Especially if, as I believe, we’re heading in to recession, anyway.  Perhaps Obama’s number-crunchers have told him that a period of recession in 2013 is unavoidable, cliff or no, and so might as well make certain a crisis never goes to waste.  Deadlock now means the Bush tax are gone for good, defense is heavily cut and we actually do reduce our deficit all without Obama taking the blame.  You know the MSM would spend the next year blaming every last thing on the GOP.

We’ll have to see, of course – if Obama actually does give in some meaningful way on tax and entitlement reform then we’ll know he’s interested in the fate of the nation.  If he stands firm and won’t do anything unless the GOP agrees to specifically increase tax rates without any serious entitlement or tax reform, then we’ll know he’s ok with us going over the cliff.