“So calling out the pledge signers and kind of pushing that issue to make them come up with much more detail about how you can do it without [tax increases], without using smoke and mirrors … probably is not a bad move,” Mr. Ornstein said.
The president isn’t the only political leader to raise the level of partisan rhetoric on the deficit reduction debate. House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, last week ruled out tax increases as an option for the deficit supercommittee. Yet several weeks earlier the Ohio Republican and the president reportedly had agreed to an $800 billion in increased revenue as part of a plan to trim the deficit.
“Translation: today’s proposals [by Mr. Obama] will not become law,” wrote the William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution on the liberal-leaning Washington think tank’s website Monday. “They stake out a bargaining position and announce a platform for the president’s re-election campaign.”
Meanwhile, the supercommittee faces a late-November deadline to identify at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions.
“Nothing that either side has said in the past week makes the committee’s job any easier, and the clock is ticking,” Mr. Galston said.
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Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
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