President Gets What He Wants on Taxes

The president decides not to push for tax hikes, gives in to GOP. Why? Because his campaign for reelection has begun.

As the Obama team worked out its options, one priority kept coming to the top: However, the next two years shook out, they told themselves, Barack Obama needed to convince the great middle of the American electorate once again that he was fighting for them.

On Monday night, just in time for most nightly news casts, Barack Obama stood behind a podium to announce his first major gambit in this new quest, a costly compromise “framework” on tax cuts that gave Republicans a major prize, Democrats several minor prizes, and a chance for the president position himself as a man above the Washington fray, doing what needs to be done for the American people. “I'm not willing to let working families become collateral damage,” Obama said. “

What they've tried so far hasn't worked - and if something isn't done to turn the economy around, as Ben Bernanke says, things aren't going to improve for years.

The American people didn't send us here to fight symbolic battles or win symbolic victories.”