Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: August 14, 2010

Obama argues against letting the Bush tax cuts expire

I know, you’re going,” say what!?

A year ago, probably when Obama thought we’d be out of the recessionary woods by now and only 20% of the “stimulus” had been spent, he was questioned while in Elkhart, IN, about the economics of a tax hike during a recession.  The question was submitted by an Elkhart resident (Scott Ferguson) and asked by Chuck Todd of SNBC.  Todd asked, “Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.”

Obama said it wouldn’t:

“Well—first of all, he’s right. Normally you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott is—his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession.”

Absolutely true to that point.  But the larger point is the admission – “you don’t raise taxes in a recession”.

Todd riposted with “But you might for health care. You might for the high—for some of the wealthiest.”

Obama responded very emphatically:

We have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress—which by the way, were different from the proposals I put forward—still wouldn’t kick in until after the recession was over. So he’s absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up—take more demand out of the economy and put businesses further in a hole.

Emphasis added, but wow – exactly.  It is “the last thing you want to do” and it will “put businesses further in a hole”.

So that was then and this is now – everyone who is actually having to deal with what is going on know we’re still in a recession.  But technically, we’ve had the “two consecutive quarters of growth” necessary to claim we’re in a recovery.  The fact that the “growth” was pretty much all government spending – borrowed money – doesn’t count.  The technical definition wins out.

That means he can, with a straight face, claim that letting those tax cuts expire is OK because we’re no longer in a recession.

Of course that’s just ludicrous to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together.  It is unwise and economically the wrong thing to do.  But, as Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner has decided, when asked about those expiring tax hikes, “The country can withstand that. The economy can withstand that. I think it’s good policy.”

Is it?  Or is it good “ideology”?

Tax the rich – a liberal mantra for decades.  Take the seed corn and pass it out to those who will eat it instead of plant it.  Ensure that those of the investor class have less to invest. Put businesses in a deeper hole.  Give the money to government which can obviously spend it more wisely than can the private side.

The $787 billion dollar “stimulus”? 

Move along, citizen – nothing to see here.

~McQ

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Quote of the day – Prince of fools edition

It’s actually from a commenter at Free Republic, found in an on-line article I was reading. It is interesting for a number of reasons, but I think it distills very well the real problem we face here in this country – and it isn’t politicians:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. … The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. … The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. … It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." – Prager Zeitung

We talk about "due dilligence" a lot when it comes to journalists doing their job or politicians doing theirs. What about the electorate? Doesn’t it too have a duty in that regard?

An educated, informed and engaged electorate is vital to any democratic form of government – at any level. Without it you get – well, what we’ve gotten and have gotten for quite a few years.

How do you reverse that? How do you engage people who show no real interest in the effects of politics – something that increasingly touches every aspect of their everyday life? How do you educate and inform a public that seems less inclined to involving themselves in the substance of debate about the importance of issues and more inclined toward the theater that is modern political campaigns?

Barack Obama won on the Unicorn and Moon Pony ticket. His promises were whatever you wanted them to be. You want change? You define it then. Hope? Same process – take the blank slate and write what you want. Whatever you want it to be is what it will be. Count on it.

And amazingly a majority of Americans bought into it – hook, line and sinker.

So I find the quote to be on the mark.  Unfortunately, the solution to the problem remains a mystery.

~McQ

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Is the "Bush card" the new "get out of jail free" card

It sure seems to me to be how many Democrats view it. If in trouble, ethically challenged, or just doing a miserable job, blame Bush. It has become the all purpose, "get out of jail free" card for Democrats, or so they seem to think.

The latest example?  Why the Democratic Representative from Los Angeles, Maxine Waters.  Instead of answering direct questions concerning her role is obtaining TARP funds for a bank in which her husband had an interest and sat on the board of directors, we got this:

 

Embattled Rep. Maxine Waters on Friday blamed the Bush administration for her ethics problems — saying she had to intervene with the Treasury Department on behalf of minority-owned banks seeking federal bailout funds — including one tied to her husband — because the Treasury Department wouldn’t schedule its own appointments.

[…]

"The question at this point should not be why I called Secretary Paulson, but why I had to," she said. "The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over 100 minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis."

Actually those aren’t the questions that should be asked.  Instead they should be asking, “why didn’t you disclose the fact that your husband had a position in one of these banks when you came begging for money?”   Or, “if you did nothing ethically wrong, then why is it this information wasn’t volunteered initially when you contacted Sec. Paulson?”   And finally, “would you have contacted the Secretary if a bank in which your husband had an interest hadn’t been part of that association”?

I mean there were plenty of banks in trouble at the time – why that particular association?  Why that particular bank?

This finger pointing and blame-shifting is getting old.  When the meeting Waters demanded took place -surprise, surprise- the officers of only one bank showed up – OneUnited, her husband’s bank.  Payoff (or ripoff if you prefer)?  50 million of your dollars.

Yet somehow it is the Bush administration’s fault.  In fact, everything that is wrong in America isn’t the fault of the Democrats.  Oh no.  They – the masters of victimhood – are the victims of that awful and scurrilous George W. Bush.

*sigh*

Even a third-grader would have learned by now that trying to shift blame on someone else for something you’ve done rarely if ever works.  Democrats have yet to come to that realization.  But, as we’ve often noted here, the pubic certainly has, and for the most part are sick and tired of the whining, crying and attempts to duck responsibility for their actions.

~McQ

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