To say the obvious: Democrats won an amazing victory. Not only did they hold the White House despite a still-troubled economy, in a year when their Senate majority was supposed to be doomed, they actually added seats.
So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.ís demands?
My answer is, not far at all. Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage on a still-shaky economy. And this is definitely no time to negotiate a ďgrand bargainĒ on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
In saying this, I donít mean to minimize the very real economic dangers posed by the so-called fiscal cliff that is looming at the end of this year if the two parties canít reach a deal. Both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administrationís payroll tax cut are set to expire, even as automatic spending cuts in defense and elsewhere kick in thanks to the deal struck after the 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling. And the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession.
Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.
2. But but if we had smaller government, we could have used federal dollars to heap upon
Halliburton and the rest to assist with hurricane Sandy's aftermath, you see, smaller government means I get to award nobid contracts to anyone who has ever given me the green. I laugh when they spew smaller government and then contract out work at 10x the cost.