President Obama derided House Republicans, reveled in the fact that he’ll be president for the next four years, and promised always to fight for his ‘balanced approach’ to deficit reduction — all before a deal was actually made.

“I realize that the last thing you want to hear on New Years Eve is another speech from me,” Obama said as he began the speech. “Today, it appears that an agreement to prevent this new years tax hike is within sight, but it’s not done. There are still issues that are left to resolve, but we’re hopeful that Congress will get it done. But it’s not done.”

Obama promised to fight for a “balanced approach” to tax and spending policy for as long as he’s president. “And I’m going to be president for the next four years, I hope,” he added unnecessarily.

As he outlined the deal –  it would extend tax rates for the middle class (though he didn’t specify an income threshold) and retain various tax credits — Obama couldn’t help but needle the House Republicans who have opposed his proposals.

Saying he wanted a bigger deal, Obama joked dryly that, “With this Congress, that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time.”

Why does Obama think it’s a good idea to mock his fiscal cliff opponents for caving before they’ve actually cut the deal? Never laugh at live dragons.