Trolling around the Internet today, I come across a pretty funny article. It may not actually look funny at first glance, but when you read between the lines, it’s kinda hysterical.
The article is titled, “Obama tax plan runs into opposition in Senate“, from Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press:
President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed tax cuts ran into opposition Thursday from senators in his own party who said they wouldn’t do much to stimulate the economy or create jobs.
Senators from both parties agreed that Congress should do something to stimulate the economy. But Democratic senators emerging from a private meeting of the Senate Finance Committee criticized business and individual tax cuts in Obama’s stimulus plan.
They were especially critical of a proposed $3,000 tax credit for companies that hire or retrain workers.
“If I’m a business person, it’s unlikely if you give me a several-thousand-dollar credit that I’m going to hire people if I can’t sell the products they’re producing,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., a member of the committee.
“That to me is just misdirected,” Conrad said.
Sen John Kerry, D-Mass., said, “I’d rather spend the money on the infrastructure, on direct investment, on energy conversion, on other kinds of things that much more directly, much more rapidly and much more certainly create a real job.”
The cost of the economic rescue package Obama wants is expected to swell to $800 billion or more. About $300 billion of Obama’s package would be for tax cuts or refunds for individuals and businesses.
One tax provision would provide a $500 tax cut for most workers and $1,000 for couples, at a cost of about $140 billion to $150 billion over two years. The individual tax cuts may be awarded through withholding less from worker paychecks, effectively making them about $10 to $20 larger each week.
Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he doubted that a modest tax cut would change consumers’ spending habits.
“In tough times people don’t respond all that well to marginal changes, such as a small amount of money added per paycheck,” Wyden said.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he hopes to schedule a committee vote on the stimulus package in about two weeks, which would coincide with the week of Obama’s inauguration. Many senators still hope to approve a package by mid-February.
There is “general agreement that because of the recession we’ve got to move, we’ve got to move quickly, very quickly,” Baucus said.
He added that it is too early to pass judgment on any aspect of Obama’s plan.
“This is an early part of this whole process. A lot of preliminary questions are going to be asked,” Baucus said.
Ok, here’s where this is funny: Obama is acting more like a classic Republican than modern-day Republicans. A Democrat proposing tax cuts? Almost unheard of.
So it’s no big surprise that Senate Democrats have their panties in a bunch over tax-cut proposals. But here we have probably one of THE most liberal people in the Senate – and that would be Barack “The Nazarine” Obama – proposing tax cuts as a means to increase economic activity. If you’ll remember, Democrats and liberals scoffed at this notion back when Reagan tried it. The called it “voodoo economics” (“v-o-o…vooooo doooo, voodoo economics?”), called it “tax breaks for the rich”, and other such nonsense. Now we’ve got a liberal using a page out of the Conservative playbook.
This is hysterical. Basically, Conservative principles have moved the ball into the end zone. Now, it appears that we don’t even have to make the argument anymore that tax cuts are good for economic activity, it is already tacitly accepted by liberals.
Mind you, some of the people criticizing Obama’s plan are the same people that criticized Bush’s initial tax cuts proposed in 2001. Those got passed, and the result was an economic boom.
Now, the only fly in the ointment here is the fact that the rich – you know, the people who actually pay the lion’s share of the taxes in this country – will be excluded from such proposals. I mean, as much as Obama has swallowed the notion that tax cuts are good to kick-start economic activity, he’s not completely abandoned his deeply-held liberal principles. No, he’s going to implement his “trickle-up” strategy…which is actually a misnomer, as a large percentage of people who are fairly well off will be receiving tax cuts as well. So, his actual implementation is more like sideways injection.
Stimulus checks are little more than an after-the-fact tax cut, so long as they are paid out to people who actually paid income tax in the first place. However, Obama (being the good little communist he is) will undoubtedly not be satisfied with just giving back money to people who actually paid into the system – perish the thought! Nope, some of that will end up subsidizing people who didn’t pay in. But, at the very least, Conservatism is making some headway.
Will these tactics work? I sorta doubt it. While Democrats are typically clueless about basic market economics, there are a couple kernels of truth in their criticism. Rep. Wyden seems to be the least clueless when he points out:
In tough times people don’t respond all that well to marginal changes, such as a small amount of money added per paycheck…
Good point. Perhaps he’s finally figured out, but doesn’t want to admit, that the government takes way too much from those who actually produce stuff in this country?
Well, we can dream.