The Congress and President Barack Obama went right up to the edge of the "fiscal cliff". Efforts to find at least a temporary solution went so badly that everyone involved dumped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and brought in Vice President Joe Biden to provide the Democrat side with at least a little rationality.
Why was that? It was because of President Obama's insistence on a fiscal cliff deal that increased taxes without any attached spending cuts. In other words,
Yes, President Obama said he (eventually) wanted a "balanced" approach just not all at the same time. He wanted the tax increases now, and the spending cuts later. In other words, President Obama is today's version of Wimpy.
The trouble is that this gambit has been run on the Republicans before. It's always the promise of spending cuts later for tax increases now. The tax increases have always come quickly, but the promised spending cuts never materialize. So we see that that President Obama's "balanced approach" really looks like this:
Seems to me it's been just a giant scam on all of us. And it hasn't fixed anything about the deficit problem in fact, it's added to it.