July 26, 2011 Leave a comment
The adult President gave yet another primetime address last night. Since cable television and the internet the power of these addresses has been diminished. Less than 20% of the country watches these addresses, so the ability of any President to direct debate in the country is reduced compared to 20+ years ago. In any event, Obama’s address was more campaign rally than actual policy address. He called on Americans to call their Congressman to complain and told us he wouldn’t bore us with plan details. I guess we just aren’t smart enough to understand Obama’s plan but the drones are capable of picking up the phone and annoying Congressional staffers and interns.
The fact is that Congress already has two plans out there that have bipartisan support. Neither includes tax increases. Harry Reid has agreed to cut $2.7 trillion in spending in exchange for a debt ceiling increase that will put this issue to rest until after the 2012 election. Speaker Boehner has a plan for a $1 trillion debt ceiling increase coupled with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and a committee to investigate and recommend an additional $1.8 trillion in cuts. Reid’s plan would likely pass the House, at this point Boehner’s plan would likely pass the Senate.
That leaves the President to decide whether he wishes to veto what a bipartisan Congress has passed. For all of Obama’s talk about bipartisan cooperation last night, if he vetos what anything that comes out of this Congress he is the one who will look like an ideologue. For all of Obama’s whining about House Republicans, he is ignoring bipartisan efforts taking place in the Senate. He said yesterday he opposed Reid’s compromise bill because it doesn’t include tax increases.
Speaking of tax increases, Obama trotted out the corporate jet tax again yesterday. He must think that plays well in the ears of the average American but his corporate jet tax has already been proven to be a meaningless political ploy. As of nearly three weeks ago, it’s been proven that his jet tax would only bring in $300 million a year and likely would cost jobs in the airplane manufacturing sector. Obama must think the American people are so stupid that they can’t get online and read all about this issue.
The President must also think the American people are to stupid to figure out that the top 2% (who barely make $250,000 a year) account for 40% of consumer spending in this country. They also pay the lions share of Federal taxes. Any tax increase on this group will result in two things. First consumer spending would decrease, which would negatively affect the middle class in both the service and manufacturing sectors. Second, investment would decrease which would result in loss of job creation.
President Obama is attempting to do what Congressional Democrats and President Bush did in 1991. Bush agreed to tax increases in exchange for some nominal spending cuts. The problem is that the tax cuts killed the economy and resulted in increased unemployment. As a result, more Americans went on welfare, food stamps and medicaid. The cost of having more Americans on these programs more than off set the spending cuts. Obama is playing a game here. He doesn’t want any reduction in Federal spending and he knows he won’t get one if there are tax increases.
Republicans need to hold firm. This President doesn’t have a plan of his own and as a result he will be stuck with whatever Congress passes. The fact that Obama doesn’t want to bore us with plan details shows us just how disingenuous he is. Obama will not commit to anything and has already shown us he’s willing to move the goal posts. Speaker Boehner needs to hold firm, even if it means going along with Reid’s plan. Let Obama veto a bipartisan bill.