But no, after putting forth a $447 billion so-called jobs plan (which was really just a jobs plan for public employees and construction workers), he has now doubled down on tax hikes as his way of not only paying for that plan, but tackling the deficit it would increase.
So yesterday he unveiled a $1.5 trillion tax hike as the way of tackling $3 trillion of the deficit over the next 10 years. It came with the usual Obama it’s-my-way-or-the-highway threats.
“We just can’t cut our way out of this hole,” he insisted.
“Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get,” he added. “We can’t afford to do both. This is not class warfare. It’s math.”
Well, he at least anticipated arguments on the other side — and they are many.
Any responsible plan to cut “loopholes” in the corporate tax code has always been coupled with a reduction in the rate that would make it something less than among the highest in the world — thus sending so many U.S. companies offshore the minute they start to grow.
And all those loopholes Obama wants to close — deductions for mortgages and charitable contributions for high earners — well, responsible plans to do that (such as that of his own blue ribbon deficit reduction commission) have also coupled that with a lower rate.
This plan does nothing to address the lingering problems with Social Security. It makes by Obama’s own admission only “modest” adjustments to Medicare and Medicaid. And even those Obama threatens to veto if they are not coupled with his precious taxes on the “rich.”
The only good news yesterday was that at least he didn’t ask for another joint session of Congress to advance this utterly lackluster plan.
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This Opinion Editorial was originally published in the Boston Herald on Sept. 20, 2011.