The tasks of running for President and actually being a good President are two very different things, and Barack Obama has shown us, very clearly, that being very good at the former doesn’t mean that a person will be any good at the latter. From The Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Propose Tax Increases on Investments, Inherited Property
President Expected to Outline Tax Measures in State of the Union Address
By Carol E Lee, Colleen McCain Nelson and John D McKinnon |
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will call on the new Republican-led Congress to raise taxes on investments and inherited property and to create or expand a range of tax breaks for middle-income families, laying out an opening position in a debate over taxation that both parties see as a potential area of compromise.
Mr. Obama will outline the measures in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. He will propose using revenue generated from the tax increases—which would fall mainly on high-income households—to pay for a raft of new breaks aimed at boosting stagnant incomes for low- and middle-income households.
Those initiatives include tripling the child-care tax credit and creating a new credit for families in which both spouses work, senior administration officials said on Saturday.
The administration plans to consolidate and expand education tax breaks. It would also make retirement savings programs available to many more people, for example by requiring many employers that don’t currently offer workers a retirement plan to enroll them automatically in an individual retirement account. The administration says its proposals would make retirement saving programs available to 30 million additional people at the workplace.
More at the link.
This is nothing more than a campaign document, because the chances of the Congress passing a tax increase on the most productive Americans are vanishingly small. William Teach asked why the President didn’t propose these things while the Democrats still controlled the Senate, and part of the answer is that all revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives, but the other part is that he didn’t want o make things any rougher on Democratic candidates in conservative states than necessary; even as election day approached in 2014, the Democrats had some hopes of retaining the Senate, and never anticipate the real butt kicking that they received.
So, why, if the President is seeking any compromise at all, as he supposedly is, would he push a plan which won’t make it out of the House Ways and Means Committee? The answer is that he isn’t really seeking compromise, nor is he going to make any serious attempts at leading by any means other than executive orders and judicial nominations. Rather, he wants to give Democratic candidates in 2016 some talking points, trying to somehow revive the silly Occupy movement and class warfare.
But even a cursory look at what the President is supposedly going to propose tells us that it’s not even being advertised truthfully. It is, supposedly, supposed to benefit the middle class, but extending the earned income tax credits to families without children doesn’t benefit the middle class in the slightest; it is a benefit solely to lower-income people. Increasing the child care tax credit could help some middle-income families, but there is no reason at all to provide welfare for the middle-class. Two years of “free” community college tuition? What we need are stronger training programs in high school, and a greater push for them; Michael Bloomberg noted that becoming a plumber1 is probably a wiser career choice for most people coming out of high school.2 But nothing is free; education costs money, and has to be paid for somehow.3
The President does not expect any of these proposals to ever be passed, and I would certainly hope that they are not; the last hing we need is to add to the complexity of the tax code or to take more money from people who have earned it to give to those who have not.
- Donald Douglas on American Power: Obama to Propose Tax Increases on Investments, Inherited Property Dr Douglas quotes more of the article than I do; if you aren’t a subscriber to The Wall Street Journal, something you really should be, you can see more of the original article on Dr Douglas’ site.
- William Teach on The Pirate’s Cove: Semi-Retired President To Propose Tax Increases On The Rich
- Karen on The Lonely Conservative: Spend, Spend, Spend – Obama Wants Bigger Budget
- The much better-looking Dana on Patterico’s Pontifications: Just so you know . . .
- Mr Bloomberg used plumbing as an example, but his reasoning would hold just as true for electricians and carpenters and other skilled tradesmen. ↩
- The Editor’s wife is a registered nurse, who earned her Associates in Science in Nursing at a community college. ↩
- Thanks to the complete ineptness of the Carbon County tax collector, who told my mortgage company that my property taxes were up to date, leading my mortgage company not to pay them on time, I had to pay, personally, $2,008.63 in school district taxes on December 22nd, giving your Editor a very good lesson in just how free free public education really is. ↩