By Kyle Dallman
I’ve had my ups and downs with the man I so feverishly campaigned and voted for in 2008, Barack Obama. For much of 2011, Obama shied away from taking a strong, executive position. Instead, he played the role of a hostage negotiator to divisive battles in the House and Senate – namely, over the debt ceiling debate, so outrageously politicized by House republicans this summer as to throw the nation’s credit rating and prestige down a notch.
This Monday, however, Obama finally took a stand, speaking with the firm voice and sensible reasoning that had given me so much hope in the past. Obama announced $1.5 trillion in new taxes, predominantly hitting upper income earners and large corporations, both previously shielded from high tax rates by republican lawmakers and Bush-era tax cuts.
Obama’s tax increase coincides with a deficit reduction package of $3 trillion, including Medicare, Medicaid and other welfare spending cuts and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, thus scaling back the defense budget. The equivalent of dropping the mic and walking away after a rap battle, Obama reversed his previously conciliatory and appeasing manner this week, finally laying down the power of the executive office over the hamstrung and deadlocked Congress.
Hopefully, this is first of more strong steps taken to reduce our enormous debt and insatiable appetite for more. “This is not class warfare. It’s math,” said Obama in the Rose Garden speech. #bossmoves.