In a word: Nope. Wilkinson tries to understand Obama's next move:

Democratic strategists need to be looking at clever ways for the government to take a lot more money away from middle-class families without thereby making the GOP look golden again. Obama’s been behaving as though he’s much less fiscally constrained than he really is.

But by catering to the idea that middle-class taxes shouldn’t ever go up, he’s making it even tougher on himself. Unless he’s in the middle of some kind of ten-steps-ahead rope-a-dope wherein reaffirming the middle class’ right to not pay taxes is a way of softening them up to accept huge tax increases, he may be making a mistake.

Clive Crook sees similar problems:

Despite optimistic assumptions, the budget leaves a full-employment budget deficit of 3 per cent of gross domestic product – not counting the full costs of healthcare reform, which the budget mentions but fails to provide for, and longer-term demographic and other pressures. Spending cuts and new taxes on the broad middle class are going to be needed; and to get those passed, the president will need support from the political centre.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to