Congrats to Obama on his re-election
The Kansas City Star
President Obama is due congratulations for his win Tuesday night — a shocker and a surprise to me and many others. He won’t have much time to savor it, though.
The lame-duck session looms along with the same old problems with the same old institutional deadlock. Not clear at this point where the give might come, but Simpson-Bowles might point to the key.
The concept that drew buy-in from many on both sides was: lower rates, in exchange for fewer loopholes and deductions. If Obama gives and allows a decrease in top marginal rate, that would be a loud signal that he’s serious about dealing.
One thing Romney never emphasized enough was his plan to limit total deductions an individual could take, which gets around the lose-lose fight over WHICH deductions to cut. People in general, and many in the media, never got this — and continued griping about his failure to provide details about which deductions he would cut.
But if you cap deductions with an absolute number or a percentage of income, you’re negotiating not about a raft of much-favored tax breaks, but over a single number. A realistic plan would have a very tight tax-break cap for upper-income earners.
That may be too much into the weeds for an election-night rumination, especially after Tuesday’s disaster. But our fiscal problems are getting worse and now that the election’s over we’re going to be hearing about Europe’s agonies again, a reminder that we’re on the same path, just farther back.
The autopsies over Romney’s loss will now commence. I’m not sure at this point what I can offer. I thought deep down he would win. He had a united party and a weakened opponent. It may have come down to the unfeeling-barbarian Bain narrative. If Romney connected, he connected late. Right now, things look pretty bleak for the country, from where I sit.