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The PJ Tatler

by
Seton Motley

Bio

December 10, 2012 - 10:24 am

President Barack Obama’s scant involvement with the Fiscal Cliff negotiations has been limited to his rigid insistence that the tax rate on the nation’s job creators be raised from 35% to 39.6%.

Tax reform – as a general principle and a way to raise revenue – is a presidential non-starter.

Now.  Last year, the president said this:

“What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates — but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.”

Funny, that’s what House Speaker John Boehner just proposed.  $800 billion over ten years in additional coin for the realm.  By loophole-eliminating, code-simplifying – and thus job creating – tax reform.  Not via job-killing tax rate increases.

And the President’s tax hikes will kill jobs – 710,000 of them.  While only raising the same $800 billion over the next decade.

Do not misunderstand – this is not a defense of Speaker Boehner’s revenue raise.  The Feds don’t have a revenue problem – they have a spending one.

2007 Federal Budget: $2.73 trillion.  Deficit: $161 billion.

Note: This was the last all Republican budget – the House, Senate and White House were at the time all run by the Rs.

2012 Federal Budget: $3.796 trillion.  Deficit: $1.327 trillion.

If we simply returned to 2007 levels of spending, our trillion-plus dollar annual budget deficits would all but vanish.

The fact remains – we desperately need tax reform.  The president used to agree.  The question is – what tax code status quo is the president trying to protect?

President Obama and his Democrats in fact love our arcane, bizarre, totally anti-Reality tens-of-thousands-of-pages tax code.  (And our millions-of-pages of laws.  And our millions-of-pages regulatory code.)

The harder it is for businesses to do business (and citizens to conduct their lives) – the better they like it.  And the cryptic, dense codified inanity creates tons of room for them to pick their preferred private sector losers at the expense of its winners – and slosh them hundreds of billions of Taxpayer dollars while they’re at it.

This isn’t Crony Capitalism – this is Crony Socialism.

To choose but one example, let us look at “energy” Crony Socialism.

Energy Subsidies Total $24 Billion, Most to Renewables

Renewable energy and energy efficiency accounted for $16 billion of the federal support, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while the fossil-fuel industry received $2.5 billion in tax breaks….

CBO said the $24 billion total is a small fraction of the hundreds of billions of the government’s various annual subsidies, which take the form of both grants and tax breaks.

[Excerpt emphasis ours.]

To one abysmal failure after another.

Since 2008, taxpayers have spent or provided loan guarantees of $6.5 billion for electric vehicles.

(There have been) more-than-$3 billion-in-federal-government-subsidies-alone for the Chevy Volt.

And the 2009 $787 billion “Stimulus” bill contained about $60 billion in additional “green” “energy” cash – ostensibly for “green” gigs.  But as Newsweek then reported (emphasis again ours):

The working definition (of “green job”) paints a broad stroke: a job that’s good for the economy while simultaneously healing the earth. But that leaves lots open to interpretation – natural gas is technically a cleaner fuel than crude oil, but it’s still unsustainable. 

Making it difficult, if not impossible, to measure whether eco-based jobs are being created and whether, as the administration has claimed, they’re the saviors of a sagging economy….

In large part, the very idea behind a green job ensures there will never be a full definition….

Well it appears the Obama Administration eventually arrived at a delineation.

Labor Dept. Counts Oil Lobbyists, Garbage Men, Bus Drivers as ‘Green Jobs’

This “green” “energy” government-money “investment” experiment has clearly been a multi-decade (ethanol, anyone?), trillions-of-dollars uber-failure.

Why would President Obama insist on job-killing, tiny-money-raising tax rate increases – while protecting such a gi-normous Taxpayer debacle?

80% of DOE Green Energy Loans Went to Obama Backers

Oh yeah.

Seton Motley is a consultant and the founder and president of Less Government.
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