Now that President Obama's anti-sequester PR campaign has imploded, he's trying to sucker the GOP into a tax-hiking "grand bargain." They should refuse, and instead demand Obama produce his own budget.
For months Obama traveled around the country warning that disaster lay ahead if Republicans refused to replace the $84 billion in sequester cuts with more taxes.
Their obstinacy, he said, would cause a "series of dumb, arbitrary cuts" that would throw people out of their homes, deny women access to preventive care, cause monumental flight delays, and on and on.
Obama's scare tactics failed to sway the public, which ended up supporting cuts by a nearly 2-1 margin.
And after getting caught in a string of blatant lies and gross exaggerations about the sequester's effects, even Obama's Democratic colleagues and his friends in the press started to complain.
Now, suddenly, Obama is playing nice with Republicans, quickly arranging a dinner with 12 GOP senators and a lunch with Rep. Paul Ryan as part of what the press has dubbed a "charm offensive."
Obama's tactics might have changed, but his goal remains the same — to convince Republicans to accede to another round of tax hikes as part of some "grand bargain."
Republicans should just say no. Why should they talk about a deal with Obama when he still hasn't released his own budget proposal, as required by law?
A 1921 statute requires the president to submit a budget to Congress by the first Monday in February. That was more than a month ago.
Obama's initial excuse was that the "fiscal cliff" deal required a delay. But that last-minute agreement only caused a one-day delay in the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget report.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported this week that Obama now "plans to wait until the House acts to offer his budget plan."
The Post says administration officials "have not provided a release date or explained the unusual delay."
But the explanation is painfully obvious.
Obama doesn't want to admit he has no real plan to deal with the country's massive debt crisis.
After all, if Obama were to release a budget, it would show that despite his $600 billion tax hikes on the rich, the country is still hurtling toward a debt cliff.
And since he has taken real entitlement reform off the table, refuses to consider abandoning ObamaCare, and thinks even the meager sequester spending cuts are an abomination, Obama knows the only thing he has left to fill in the budget gap is another massive tax hike.
So he hopes either that Republicans will provide him political cover, or that he can sit back and take pot shots at the House GOP budget before showing his own hand.
Republicans can't let him get away with it.
They should refuse to engage in any "grand bargain" talks until Obama comes clean about how, exactly, he plans to spend with abandon and still get the nation's debt crisis under control.
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