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.
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.
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.
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?