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From The Hill yesterday:

“The White House, seeking an agreement to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2, on Monday said it would not insist that any deal include an end to former President George W. Bush’s controversial tax rates on the wealthy…The White House said the president is pushing the GOP to agree to eliminate some tax breaks for businesses and loopholes for wealthier taxpayers, but is not seeking to eliminate the across-the-board rates introduced by President Bush. That means taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 annually have gotten a reprieve.

Obama still wants to scrap the Bush-era rates, but with time running out on the debt-ceiling talks, he made clear Monday that he has a new range of targets.

Translation: He’s being “forced” into it—again. Do you get it yet, Democrats? Is it starting to sink in? President Obama doesn’t want to end the Bush Obama tax rates. This makes two–count ‘em two–opportunities he’s had to make good on the smoke he blew during the 2008 campaign about ending the tax cuts. Both times he’s passed. In short, he’s just not that into you. On the other hand, he’s very much into these guys. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Oh sure, there will be some “revenue increases” included in what Dylan Ratigan appropriately calls the “pro wrestling” debt limit negotiations. Appropriate because the outcome is pre-determined, what we see now is just the preliminary theatrics. But like with so many other things the president says—like his creative interpretation of what constitutes “hostilities” for example— you have to carefully parse his words.

There will be “revenue increases” in the form of a few tax breaks ended, a few loopholes closed, and a few fees raised, but nothing that amounts to much in the big picture. Piddling amounts like this:

“Obama’s budget wants $85 billion in new user fees over 10 years, including raising the airline passenger security fee from a maximum of $5 per one-way trip to $11. Other proposals range from Food and Drug Administration food inspection fees to duck hunting fees. The $85 billion also includes federal auction of parts of the broadcast spectrum and the sale of surplus federal property.”

This is also being floated:

“The administration also would tax private equity or hedge fund managers at higher income tax rates instead of lower capital gains rates..”

Yeah, right. President Obama is going to raise taxes on the same guys he sucks up to at $35,000 a plate fundraisers. The same guys he plays kissy-face with to get contributions for his re-election campaign. That’ll be the day.

If you need further evidence of how seriously this whole song and dance is being taken by the powers that be, despite the screams about the alleged financial catastrophe that will happen if an agreement isn’t reached by August 2:

“Complicating matters is the congressional schedule. While the Senate is in session, the House is off this week ahead of the July 4 holiday. The House is scheduled to return next week when the Senate will be away.”

Pro wrestling indeed. The Hulkster would be proud.

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