Writing for the Daily Beast, Will Marshall argues that Obama is in a strong position to challenge the new Congress to pass a fiscal grand bargain early in 2013:
The fiscal cliff deal finally passed by the House Tuesday night isn’t likely to lift the public’s rock-bottom esteem for the nation’s elected leaders. It took too long and delivered too little, and the spectacle of a Congress that can’t conduct the nation’s business except under extreme duress from self-imposed deadlines and penalties is infuriating.
Still the outcome wasn’t terrible—and it shows that a grand fiscal bargain is still in reach, as our deeply polarized political class seems to be relearning the art of compromise.
The deal is best understood as ratifying the 2012 election result. President Obama campaigned and won on explicit promises to raise tax rates on the rich. That mandate, plus the automatic expiration of the Bush tax cuts, left Republicans with no choice but to negotiate with the White House over narrowing the scope of the coming tax hike.
Read the entire piece at the Daily Beast.