Jewish World Review July 16, 2012/ 26 Tamuz, 5772
There he goes again, or: A primer on Obamanomics
By Paul Greenberg
For some four years now,
According to the Book of Obama, those tax cuts led to the Great Recession that it took his administration to end.
But if so, why does he want to extend those same tax cuts? If they were such a bad idea then, why are they such a good idea now? Because a different president is pushing them?
Which raises a second question: If it's important, indeed urgent and pressing, to extend the Bush tax cuts to keep this still sputtering economic recovery going, as this president keeps saying, why exclude those Americans with household incomes above
Aren't those high earners the very people with the most to invest in the American economy, and so create jobs for the rest of us? Not to mention how investment can raise productivity, encourage innovation, and in general revive a stalled economy.
Why raise taxes only for those with that kind of money to invest? To give their tax lawyers and tax accountants another incentive to find loopholes in the tax code? (As if there weren't enough already.)
Note well: The president's proposal to raise taxes on high earners would include sole proprietors of small businesses and corporations who file as individual taxpayers. Yet small businesses are the kind most likely to hire new workers.
At a time when the country still has an unemployment rate above 8 percent, why punish the most profitable small businesses for thriving? And discourage them from hiring? Because they're successful? And the rest of us are envious?
The president says he just wants to be fair. But if he got his way, these small businesses, tens of thousands of them if not more, would be paying a higher tax rate than giants like
An impartial observer might be forgiven for suspecting that fairness has nothing to do with the president's latest tax program and everything to do with his winning re-election. The president's proposal to keep only some of the Bush tax cuts in effect is more a cynical ploy in this election season than a feasible economic program. Not that his tax package is going anywhere in this bitterly divided
This whole bipartisan show in
Silly me, for even to raise such questions is to take this president's economics seriously, which was my first mistake. It's only a thin disguise for the class envy he's making the basis of his re-election campaign. Mr. Obama's economic policies and the politics of resentment are so hopelessly intertwined there's no separating them, certainly in an election year.
It's just hard to take Obamanomics at face value. Mainly because it's really a branch of electioneering rather than economics. There's nothing new about it. It's led all of
Lord Keynes himself never confused inflation with some kind of all-purpose panacea for any and all economic woes, however hard he pressed for more of it in the depths of the Great Depression.
How could the great Keynes have known that politicians like
Power is an intoxicant, too, and having had a taste of it his first term, this president is back for a second, singing the wonders of his economic record. He's still on a stimulus high.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are left back here in the real world with its real job numbers and
Postscript: It's been more than half a century now since the Democrats nominated a remarkably eloquent candidate for president named
Wouldn't it be something if both presidential nominees this year, Democrat and Republican, talked sense to the American people instead of putting on another political show?
Suppose this president tried to make a cogent case for his economic policies (surely there is such a case to be made), and
Then the American people could make an informed choice. Until they do, and have spoken at the ballot box this November, is it too much to ask both Democrats and Republicans to just stick with the current tax structure as it is -- and give the American economy at this fragile stage a small modicum of stability?
Come, let us reason together -- not just fulminate. Or would that be unspeakably civil and constructive?
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
if (strpos(, "printer_friendly") === 0)
=<< © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.