Yesterday, while people who dislike discussing deficit reduction proposals were gawking at Joe Biden nodding off during Obama's speech, serious conservatives were fuming over the actual substance of the President's vision--or perceived lack of one.
As with some of the President's other heavily-hyped addresses, outrage seeped from conservative newspapers, magazines, and politicians immediately after the last sentence of the speech was uttered. Yes, the president did call for $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next twelve years, but conservatives counter that he only offered "taxes on the rich," "no specifics," and a "prolonged embrace" of progressive partisanship.
Here, we've compiled a list of conservative objections to the speech:
1. It Was Fluff Intended to Promote 'Illusory Spending Cuts and Very Real Tax Hikes' Rightward Beltway newspapers The Washington Times and Washington Examiner didn't pull any punches when describing why they felt the speech was so disingenuous. The Examiner's Timothy Carney singled out the president's "odd" definition of tax reform:
Usually, the term implies eliminating tax deductions and credits ("broadening the base") and lowering rates. For Obama, there are no rate cuts--in fact, there are rate increases. But more revealing, the only "loopholes" he wants to kill are those with which he disagrees.
2. It Was Cynical, Targets the Wealthy, and Doesn't Make 'Tough Choices' Conservative beltway-focused magazines The Weekly Standard, National Review, and The American Spectator dismissed the speech as partisan, unspecific, unconvincing and cynical. The Review's Victor Davis Hanson incredulously wrote: "is he so cynical that he understands campaign rhetoric has nothing to do with actual governance, and so he is allowed to say something that he knows in advance that he is not bound to follow?" The Spectator concluded: "He likes the tack of mocking minor cuts, as if he has his eye on major ones. But it is clear that he is not interested in minor or major cuts."