A “Little” Reaction

Posted on November 9, 2012 by

I’m thrilled Barack Obama was re-elected but I’m worried that he won’t deliver.

He begins “fiscal cliff” negotiations with House Republicans by asking the “wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.”  I’m already annoyed.  Why use the word “little”?  If we want a small increase, shouldn’t we start by demanding a medium-sized one and let the other side knock down the initial proposal.

I’m afraid the president will slip into a familiar routine: meeting his opponents halfway, then meeting them halfway again – and again.

But I shouldn’t be so negative.

Think how enormously relieved and grateful we are to Obama for saving us from a Romney Administration.

Maybe the emotional intensity of the campaign has triggered in me a “reaction formation”?  That’s the impulse to reduce anxiety by taking on the opposite behavior of what we’re really feeling.

Would that explain my fear that this President would allow the discredited Republicans to roll him?

Comments (9)


  1. dolores says:

    Can you please give me a day or two, to revel in the fact that President Obama was re-elected, before you start beating him down for what he is “not doing”? I made a lot of phone calls and sent in several personal checks to help him get re-elected. Please don’t burst my bubble just yet.

    • bill says:

      Dolores, I appreciate your calls, and I too revel in his re-election. I just don’t want to see his noble instincts give away the store for a pittance.

  2. Frank Gruber says:

    Yeah, Lou, I believe what the president was pointing out was that restoring the tax rate to those making more than 250K to what it was before the Bush tax cuts is only a little increase in their taxes and the Republicans should stop making such a big deal about it.

  3. bill says:

    You think its a possibility because he’s done it before. It’s his track record — he treats opponents like reasonable, rational people. After almost killing his campaign at the first debate, I would like to think he learned both humility and a cold-eyed view of the world — but I’m not counting on it.

    I’m with you – demand high, settle for medium. MAYBE settle for medium. Perhaps he needs someone standing next to him, like next to Caesar, whispering ‘”What would Boehner do?”

  4. Frank Stricker says:

    i agree with you. OB needs to be watched and pushed. He is much the conciliator and centrist.
    But on taxes I think he is asking to go back to 39.6 rather tahn 35…it is not enough but a decent position. Clinton raised taxes on the rich from 25 to 396, and the economy did ok in the 90s. Bush cut them and that helped not at all.
    I wish OB would do a little more teaching. Let’s get Bill back in there.

  5. Frank Stricker says:

    oops. clinton raised them on the rich from 35 to 39.6. Bush wentback to 35. Ob wants to go back to 39. 6. IT is a start but not enough.
    #2. Restore the estate tax.

  6. Frank Stricker says:

    If people claim to be worried about the deficit, ask them if they are ok with taxing the rich and restoring the estate tax.

  7. Nodrama says:

    Lou, et al, I’m sorry if you can do better, you should be willing to do the job. You have to understand he is not just talking to us. He is talking to the whole country. There are people, poor people who are ready to take him to task for asking for more at all. These are low information people who believe that if he’s going to ask for much from the wealthy it will mean either they won’t get a job. ( you may have noticed a number of companies have already used the excuse of BO’s election as a reason to lay off people). Or it will mean that their taxes are going up soon. He has to play defense at all times. He is actually a fast learning. He just didn’t imagine that the Repug’s hatred of him was so great that they would be willing to let the country go down the tubes just to bring him down. If you recall the 2010 lame du k session was an incredible legislative get for us.

  8. Ben says:

    Yeah, I agree: start high (or at least not “little”), settle for medium (or at least not “little”). But maybe it would not be the best tactic to publicly lay out his opening position the first couple of days after the election. He can do that soon enough–perhaps in the next few days. In any case, he has invited the people to join the discussion. How did he put it: “This debate can not stay trapped inside the Washington beltway” or something to that effect. So, indications are that is what labor and its allies intend to do. That would be a good thing.
    BTW even 39.6 is low compared to what the top rate was under Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, right?

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