Bartlett said Obama and congressional Democrats could have pushed harder this month to reduce the sequester cuts, when Republicans recognized the growing public hostility toward the government shutdown and default threat.
Instead, Bartlett said, Democrats "kind of went in there saying 'Let's just keep the government going and raise the debt limit.'"
Obama's 20-minute White House statement Thursday underscored the sensitivity of discussing tax increases. He called for "a balanced approach to a responsible budget," code for a mix of spending cuts and new revenues.
Aside from saying immigrants living here illegally should pay back taxes, the only time Obama mentioned taxes was when he advocated closing "corporate tax loopholes that don't help create jobs."
As for the just-ended congressional battle over the debt ceiling and government shutdown, the president said, "there are no winners here."
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