The most basic difference between Republicans and Democrats (admitting that the differences have grown smaller over the past 20 years) involves taxes:
-- Republican are anti-tax.
-- Democrats are tax the rich.
Presidents, in order to show some form of leadership and to have any meaningful success, must operate in the center.
When G.H.W. Bush raised taxes, he all but killed his his re-election prospects in 1992.
When Obama caved on taxing the rich this week, he all but killed his chances of winning re-election in 2012.
Economists can make a great case for improving the economy by raising the taxes on the wealthiest and giving a greater tax break to everyone else, small businesses, capital investments, etc. but the Republican leadership would (or should) never allow this to occur. Only a President can negotiate a compromise. What Obama and the Republican negotiated seems to be about as reasonable a position as one can take.
At the White House with Trump
22 minutes ago