The Obama political team does not want to raise taxes. It wants to destroy the Reagan Republican party as a credible opposition. Their model is Chicago. There, Republicans technically exist. But the Chicago Republican party is not a threat to Democrat power. Ever.
This fight is about power, not economics. If Obama cared about the size of the deficit he would not have increased spending and run up $5 trillion in debt. If he simply wanted higher taxes on “the rich” he could have voted that into law any day of 2009 or 2010 when Democrats held supermajorities in the House and Senate. Obama wants Republican fingerprints on a tax hike so he can destroy the credibility and future of the sole challenge to his party’s hold on power.
Obama believes that he can use the “fiscal cliff” to both raise taxes to fund more government spending and cripple the GOP.