President Obama is not resting after his reelection victory last Tuesday. Instead he is planning an aggressive pubic campaign to build support for higher taxes on the rich. This week he will meet with labor leaders on Tuesday and business leaders on Wednesday before traveling outside Washington in the coming weeks for more public campaign-like events.

“You want to avoid getting sucked into the Beltway inside-baseball games,” Joel Johnson, a former adviser in the Clinton White House told The New York Times. “You can still work toward solutions, but make sure you get out of Washington while you are doing that.”

Obama’s insistence on higher taxes seems to be carrying the day. “It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,” Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said on Fox News Sunday. “The movement on the part of the GOP to say that revenues are part of this mix is significant,” added Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.

The question is what, if anything, Republicans can get in return for agreeing to higher taxes. Many are suggesting that instead of raising rates on the rich, which is Obama’s first choice, Republicans can insist on keeping the current rates the same while closing some loopholes on mortgage interest deductions and charitable giving. Others suggest Republicans may be able to secure significant entitlement reform if they agree to higher revenues.

These are both terrible options. Raising revenues by closing loopholes only allows Obama and the Democrats to keep their current favorite tax hike talking point about “just returning to the Clinton era” tax rates. And no one believes that Obama would ever sign off on the kind of fundamental reform our entitlement programs really need.

The best option for Republicans is to give Obama what he wants on higher rates for the rich, but then use those revenues to protect middle class taxpayers by fixing the alternative minimum tax and preventing the defense sequester. Then Obama’s biggest tax hike talking point would be gone, his mandate would be spent, and Republicans could begin educating Americans about the truth of our financial problems: that we have a spending, not a revenue, problem.


From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Republicans have no foothold on the ‘fiscal cliff’
Phil Klein: Republican governors shouldn’t help implement Obamacare
Tim Carney: Re-elected, Obama takes aim at religious liberty
Michael Barone: Obama wins by going negative and turning out base
Conn Carroll: Amnesty would only make it worse

In Other News
Associated Press, Congress wants answers on Petraeus affair: “Members of Congress said Sunday they want to know more details about the FBI investigation that revealed an extramarital affair between ex-CIA Director David Petraeus and his biographer, questioning when the retired general popped up in the FBI inquiry, whether national security was compromised and why they weren’t told sooner.”
The New York Times, Officials Say F.B.I. Knew of Petraeus Affair in the Summer: “High-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that F.B.I. agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, government officials said Sunday.”
The Wall Street Journal, FBI Scrutinized on Petraeus: “A social planner’s complaints about email stalking launched the monthslong criminal inquiry that led to a woman romantically linked to former Gen. David Petraeus and to his abrupt resignation Friday as Central Intelligence Agency chief.”
Los Angeles Times, Prop. 30 win won’t guarantee fiscal safety: “As California tries to shake its national reputation as a financial bungler, policymakers in Sacramento will be managing an estimated $6 billion in annual revenue from Gov. Jerry Brown’s newly approved tax plan, Proposition 30. The money is already included in the budget the governor signed last summer.”
McClatchy Newspapers, Obama administration extends health law deadline: ” The Obama administration moved Friday to give states more time to submit plans for setting up insurance exchanges in 2013, a central pillar of the health care law.”

Righty Playbook
Eli Lake investigates whether or not alleged Petraeus mistress Paula Broadwell revealed classified information about Benghazi at a speech in Denver last month.
Zero Hedge: Foodstamps Surge By Most In One Year To New All Time Record
Bill Kristol: Losing Can Be Liberating

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo reports that Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have vowed to pass amnesty together.
Cass Sunstein says Regan would have supported cap and trade.
Mother Jones Kevin Drum begs Democrats to stop talking about raising the retirement age.