Once again, President Obama has no specific proposal beyond his all-purpose, two-part plan: Blame Republicans and raise taxes. Senate Democrats, who have ignored the issue for almost two years, dutifully introduced a last-minute bill to raise taxes on high earners that is unlikely even to pass in their own chamber.
Solving the sequester by raising taxes is a non-starter for two reasons. First, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Focusing on revenues just kicks the can down the road without addressing the real drivers of our debt. Secondly, the president just got $600 billion in new tax revenue when a portion of the Bush tax cuts expired in January. Now it’s time to tackle the other side of the equation by confronting the 60 percent of the budget consumed by entitlement spending.
For the first time in a long time, Congress is not operating on default settings that favor spenders. Under current law, sequestration is going to happen. Conservatives will work with President Obama to modify the cuts but not to prevent them.