It is Very Difficult to Believe Obama on the Debt Ceiling

By: Monday January 14, 2013 11:56 am

One of the most memorable parts of President Obama’s hour-long press conference on Monday came he was forced to face the issue of his own negotiating credibility problem.

The GOP Didn’t Actually Agree to Raise Taxes

By: Wednesday January 2, 2013 7:13 am

The Obama administration has declared victory with the new tax deal. They believe they got 85 percent of what they wanted on taxes and more importantly the administration claims they finally broke the back of the Republican party’s opposition to raising taxes. President Obama said, “Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, [...]

Obama Ready to Fold on Tax Rates

By: Monday December 31, 2012 11:21 am

During the campaign President Obama’s big promise was to end the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000 a year. After the election Obama made some very firm statements about sticking to this promise, but it now looks like the administration will abandon it in the deal being worked out between VP Joe Biden and [...]

Why A Tax Hike Today Won’t Be a Tax Hike Tomorrow: a New Baseline

By: Monday December 31, 2012 7:09 am

Today taxes are low but by tomorrow the Bush taxes cuts will have expired for everyone. Any deal reached today that only extends most of the Bush taxes cuts can be theoretically framed as a tax increase, since Congress would be voting for a tax rate higher than currently exists. By tomorrow, though, this entire issue goes away.

Voters Believe Obama Won a Mandate to Increase Taxes on the Rich

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 9:26 am

When it comes to the taxing the rich President Obama has the clear upper hand in the realm of public opinion. A new Bloomberg Poll found Americans overwhelmingly believe Obama won a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. From Bloomberg: President Barack Obama won the public argument over taxes so decisively that almost half of Republicans [...]

What to Keep in Mind When Judging Any Possible “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

By: Monday December 10, 2012 9:51 am

By simply being intransigent, Obama could get much of what he claims to want without giving anything to the Republicans in return. What Obama “gives up” should only be weighed against what he couldn’t have gotten eventually. Things like accepting a tax increase on the wealthy or raising the debt ceiling should not even be counted as a real concession by Republicans because they would be forced to accept those anyway.

Most Voters Would Blame GOP if All Bush Tax Cuts Expire

By: Friday November 16, 2012 8:50 am

In the fight over the Bush tax cuts President Obama appears to have the political upper hand. According to a new poll for the Americans for Tax Fairness, Obama’s position on the Bush tax cuts is more popular, and if a deal is not reached on the Bush tax cuts most voters will blame the [...]

Obama Has a Serious Tax Credibility Problem

By: Monday July 9, 2012 10:08 am

This weekend on CNN Robert Gibbs, a surrogate for President Obama, said Obama was 100 percent committed to letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making above $250,000 a year. Given Obama’s track record on his tax related campaign promises, I have a tough time believing his team on this issue, and I’m likely [...]

Dems Start Negotiating Against Themselves on Bush Tax Cuts

By: Wednesday May 23, 2012 12:19 pm

We are still months away from the so called “fiscal cliff” or “taxmaggedon” when among other things the Bush tax cut extension expires.  But the Democratic leadership has already started negotiations against itself. With negotiations with the GOP not having really begun, Pelosi has already moved the Democratic ask to the right in a preemptive [...]

Why You Don’t Negotiate for Hostages

By: Wednesday May 16, 2012 9:27 am

It is conventional wisdom never to negotiate for hostages, because such bargaining only makes hostage taking worthwhile. If there were no value available from hostage taking, people would have little reason to try taking hostages. If you do pay for a hostage, it signals to your adversaries that hostage taking is a great idea and [...]