The Taxman Cometh

Well, this was predictable. From President Obama’s first post-election statement on the fiscal cliff, earlier this hour at the White House:

Echoing language he used on the campaign trail, Obama said the nation should reduce the $16 trillion-plus federal debt in a “balanced and responsible way,” including higher taxes on the rich as well as spending cuts to middle class programs.

“I’m open to compromise,” Obama said, but he added he will not supported a plan that is not “balanced” with more revenues from the nation’s wealthiest citizens. “This was a central question during the election,” said Obama, who defeated Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday. “It was debated over and over again.”

The election showed that “a majority of Americans agree with my approach,” Obama said.

We used to sneer when Obama automatically conflated support for him with support for each of his policies. In this case, alas, he may be right. From the Washington Post’s report earlier this week on Election Day exit polls:

Nearly half, 47 percent of voters surveyed, said go ahead and raise taxes on incomes of $250,000 and up, as Obama proposes. Only 35 percent wanted no tax increases for anyone. A lonely 13 percent called for higher taxes all around.

That’s a solid 60 percent who want at least some people’s taxes increased. We not only lost the vote. We’re also losing the argument.