Shoving Us Over the Fiscal Cliff: Obama Blocks Tax Reform
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?