Are the President and the Congress trying to send our economy in to a recession?
They’re probably not trying to, no. But with the current governing philosophy in Washington, a recession has become an acceptable means to a necessary end. And the intended “end” doesn’t necessarily entail economic growth and prosperity.
That sounds harsh, I know. But think it through with me. Because as the nation’s media has been obsessed about the “fiscal cliff” and whether or not the President and congressional Republicans will work out an agreement to forestall it, insufficient attention has been paid to how the President and congressional Democrats have augmented their agenda in the past couple of weeks. Journalist Ron Scherer was, as far as I can tell, the first to catch on, with a story he published at Yahoo! News and in the Christian Science Monitor.
Sherer noted in a November 30th news story that in the midst of the “fiscal cliff” tax rate negotiations, President Obama had added a little extra talking point to his campaign for higher taxes on “rich” people. While promoting his tax hike plan in Ohio that day, he slipped in a little “oh, and by the way let’s do another $255 billion stimulus package.” Scherer surmised that the President was proposing more stimulus spending as a means of “offsetting” the impact of his own proposed tax hikes.
But what, precisely, would need to be “offset,” if President Obama’s tax hike agenda prevails? The President just completed a successful re-election campaign claiming that raising taxes on “rich people” would be good for the economy, yet it now appears that he wants more stimulus spending as a means of saving our economy from his own economic policies. This would seem to be, at the very least, a tacit admission from the President that raising taxes on individual people – even those awful “rich people” among us – does, indeed cause a slowdown in economic activity, and may very well bring about a recession.
So what if officials in our government chose to pursue neither of these agendas? That is, what if we did not deploy governmental power to confiscate greater proportions of wealth from private individuals (that is, what if the government didn’t raise income taxes), and what if our government didn’t spend more tax dollars to “stimulate” the economy? If the tax hikes were eliminated, then perhaps the need for a stimulating “offset” would be eliminated, as well.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.