President Obama's press conference yesterday was pretty disappointing, yet again. I think he's mistaken to believe that his very unpresidential pettiness will do anyone any good, including himself. Not that anyone should be surprised, but he's talking though his hat about taxes: The tax break for corporate jets that he kept railing on about was his own idea, and the tax break for oil companies is nothing but a change in the way that all businesses can calculate depreciation.
For balance, I should say that the balanced-budget amendment that the Republicans are putting forward is a pretty wrongheaded policy. There's nothing terribly wrong with a budget deficit itself, it's the reasons for the deficit that matter. I'm all for imposing restrictions on the government, but this one is too ham-fisted. Although they were full of holes, the pay-go schemes of the 1990s were superior in that they at least made Congress think about the tradeoffs they had to make. At any rate, I think it's pretty obvious that the Republicans know that the balanced-budget amendment has no chance of passing and that their actions are purely symbolic. But, unlike Obama's symbolic gestures, they at least symbolize the right thing.