The President is holding a press conference, his first opportunity to take questions since the election. I’ll follow along here. You can watch it live.
…Obama says our top priority has to be jobs and growth. First I’ve heard of it!
…The idea that balanced deficit reduction has anything to do with job creation is just such up-is-downism that I can hardly comment on it.
…Starts with opening remarks by banging on taxes. Notes correctly that extending tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income means that every American – including the wealthy – gets a tax cut.
…Obama here is basically trying to separate the tax issue from the rest of the fiscal slope issues.
…Obama references a letter from Tom Friedman’s ubiquitous desiring-for-bipartisan-compromise cab driver.
…And the first question is about who David Petraeus has an affair with. America!
…Obama doing a ton of buck-passing on Petraeus and the FBI.
…Jessica Yellen: “Why should anyone believe you about the Bush tax cuts, you caved before, why won’t you cave again?” Obama says that the economy was in a different place two years ago and can handle the expiration now… Obama says that Bush tax cuts had to be extended because he needed to get payroll tax cut and UI extension. Those are expiring too now!
…Obama says half of the fiscal cliff can be remedied by just extending the tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income. Then we can take a “serious look” at tax and entitlement reform.
…Obama basically parrots the “do the math” line that tax rates have to go up, and that you can’t make up the difference just by cutting deductions.
…Obama saying he wants a “big deal,” but he’s continually separating the tax rate issue from the rest of it.
…Obama says he wants an immigration reform bill proposed “very soon” after inauguration, very similar to the 2009 draft proposal from Schumer and Graham.
…The “first priority” was growth and jobs, and of course not one successive question or discussion has had anything to do with growth and jobs, with the possible exception of immigration reform, depending on how it’s structured.
…Chuck Todd, crackerjack interviewer, asks the same two questions everyone else asks.
…Dynamic scoring is a ridiculous fantasy, so good on Obama for calling it out.
…sorry, I missed a bunch of this. Back up on a climate change question. And Obama actually describes the state of climate science with the correct degree of urgency. “I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by carbon emissions, and that we have an obligation to do something about it.” But as for solution, he’s talking about fuel economy and clean energy, which I’m sure he knows are not enough. In fact, he says “we haven’t done as much as we need to.”