The Tax Man Cometh 

It is not every year that the President of the United States calls for higher taxes just two days before Tax Day, but that appears to be exactly what will happen Wednesday night when President Obama will outline his debt reduction strategy to the nation at a yet to be named Washington, DC metro area college campus.

White House Chief of Staff David Plouffe previewed the president’s speech on the Sunday news shows as “a balanced approach” that can “win the future.” But considering what White House aides have said so far, Obama will name just one specific policy proposal on Wednesday: higher taxes.

Plouffe did tell Meet the Press Sunday: “You're going to have to look at Medicare and Medicaid and see what kind of savings you can get.” But what possible “savings” could the White House take out of these programs at this point?

Obamacare already stole more than half a trillion dollars from Medicare over the next ten in order to pay for a new health insurance subsidy entitlement. The Congressional Budget Office and Medicare Chief Actuary are already highly skeptical that the existing Obamacare “Medicare” savings will ever occur. Without first repealing Obamacare, it is highly doubtful anymore Medicare savings can be found.

Medicaid has a similar story. Over half of the health insurance coverage added by Obamacare is achieved through expanding Medicaid. Again, how can savings be found in this program without repealing Obamacare? The only specifics Plouffe would commit to Sunday was higher taxes. “He has said he believes taxes on the higher income - people over $250,000 - should eventually go up,” Plouffe said of Obama on Meet the Press. With the Treasury about to run up against its statutory limit for issuing debt, Obama’s only solution appears to be raising taxes.


In other news:

Gaddafi accepts peace road map: South Africa’s Zuma, Reuters:  As NATO continues to drop bombs on loyalist forces from above, South African President Jacob Zuma announced that Muammar Gaddafi “has accepted a roadmap for ending the civil war in Libya.” Zuma also called on NATO to stop their airstrikes in order to “give ceasefire a chance.” While Washington is currently distracted with battles over short- and long-term budgets, Obama’s war in Libya is not only slipping into a quagmire, but international opposition to it is growing. How long can the president of the world continue his bombing campaign without any evidence of real progress on the ground?

Rubio takes the lead, The Weekly Standard: In what Bill Kristol is calling “by far the boldest move Rubio has made,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to the Senate majority and minority leaders last month urging the Senate to authorize the president’s “decision to participate in allied military action in Libya.” This is a defining move for a senator that some, including Rush Limbaugh, consider a dark horse candidate for the White House in 2012. This letter firmly places distance between Rubio and more Tea Party friendly senators like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and firmly places him in the McCain/Lieberman foreign policy camp.

The President is Missing, The New York Times: For months now, conservatives have been trying to build the narrative that President Obama has been AWOL on the issues that matter to Americans: gas prices, jobs, debt, etc. Now Paul Krugman contributes to this effort with a column today asking “What have they done with President Obama? ... Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?” Krugman is, of course, trying to egg the White House into a firmer defense of the welfare state, but his method of attack still lends credence to a growing critique that Obama’s detached leadership style isn’t getting the job done.

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