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Validated math? White House gets message wrong

A week after the election and President Obama is already back in "I won" mode.

During initial negotiations over the fiscal cliff earlier this year, the President asked for $800 billion in tax increases, got an agreement from House Speaker John Boehner on that, then blew up the deal by increasing that figure to $1.2 trillion. He now insists on $1.6 trillion in tax hikes.

Jay Carney, White House spokesman, was quoted by an NBC News reporter as saying of the election, "We've earned some credibility ...that we know our arithmetic."

Would that be the arithmetic of the President's 2013 budget, which would raise the national debt from $16 trillion this year to $25 trillion in 2022? Or would it be The New York Times' arithmetic, which showed earlier this year that letting the Bush tax rates on "the rich" expire would bring enough revenue to cover only 13 percent of Obama's projected federal deficit in 2015 and only 9 percent by 2030?

The election was hardly a validation of Obama's budget math. It was a mandate for compromise. As expected, that spirit is woefully lacking from the White House, at least so far.

Eric Church
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