September 13, 2011
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Last week I listened to the president outline a new plan to help create jobs. “Pass this bill right away!” the president implored. Initially, I was right on board with what he was saying, and was impressed that instead of the non-stimulating shotgun approach of the first bill, President Obama was firing targeted rifle shots with each line. Even better, he started off by saying the plan would be paid for.
Then, about 2/3 of the way through, things started going downhill.
First, the president pulled out some of the tried-and-true garbage talking points. He spoke of removing tax breaks for oil companies (hey, that *could* bring in a whopping $2 billion a year!), of millionaires and billionaires that don’t need tax deductions, and of the rich paying their “fair share” (I’m STILL waiting for specificity on what exactly their “fair share” is). he even pulled out Warren Buffet’s claim of paying less in taxes than his secretary (I suggest people read up on capital gains taxes vs marginal income taxes to understand why this is bogus).
Second, President Obama punts the responsibility for paying for the bill to the newly-formed supercommittee, who will already have to find a way to cut $1.5 trillion in spending before December. Seems to me there is a difference between saying something is paid for and saying “well, THEY are going to figure out how to pay for it.”
Then, for the coup de grace, the bill is rolled out on Monday…and its designed to be paid for via tax increases.
Though I don’t support the idea of absolutely no tax increases, the move makes the president look downright indecisive. Not only that, but he knows that under the current environment, the chances of passing his bill (which came under criticism from all sides shortly after the post-speech euphoria wore off) just went from possible to “snowball’s chance in hades.” Granted, a bill may get passed, but it definitely won’t fly through paid for just with tax increases.