Obama's Fiscal-Cliff Christmas; President Responsible for Year-End Crisis

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Byline: Michael Taube, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Who is trying to push the United States off the fiscal cliff ? Many left-wing commentators predictably have placed the blame squarely on the Republicans. Yet a much stronger case can be made that the fault lies with President Obama.Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner announced an astonishing proposal last week that called for a $1.6 trillion increase in taxes. This particular figure is double what most GOP politicians likely would be willing to accept when push comes to shove. If the GOP is still having trouble accepting roughly 50 percent of that amount, how on earth does Mr. Obama expect it ever to agree to this staggering new number?Incredibly, it doesn't stop there. Mr. Obama wants to increase the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent - exactly what it was during Bill Clinton's presidency. In other words, it's a good ol' soak the rich campaign from a tax-and-spend liberal sitting in the Oval Office. There also reportedly will be $200 billion spent on so-called economic growth measures (to pay, ultimately, for Mr. Obama's various spending increases over the next four years, no doubt) and $50 billion on infrastructure projects that likely will never see the light of day.Mr. Obama also has suggested about $400 billion in cuts to health programs. Big deal. Early estimates for the total cost of implementing Obamacare, the president's massive state-run health care plan, are in the neighborhood of $1 trillion. That's why the GOP asked for a total of $600 billion in health savings this week - to offset more of these fiscally imprudent White House proposals.There also reportedly will be $800 billion in savings from winding down the Iraq and Afghanistan missions. While this political decision obviously will curry favor with the anti-war contingent, it also will keep the United States less safe in violent regions in the world. For those of us who support our brave men and women in uniform, it serves as yet another example of this president being soft on terrorism.Certainly, neither Democrats nor Republicans have acted perfectly during these important economic discussions. When you add everything together, the president clearly is trying to heave the U. …