Honestly, it’s difficult for me to be so disrespectful to two people of such prominence; I prefer to simply express an opinion regarding public policy and then make the case for my argument. But neither of these two esteemed gentlemen has a clue about how our tax system operates, nor the history and consequences of changes to the nation’s tax laws. As someone who has studied and worked within our tax system for over 35 years, I can safely and assuredly make that statement.
President Obama has made a two-fold proposal, both parts of which are motivated by a desperate attempt to reinvigorate his re-election campaign. First came the jobs plan, which was yet another transparent giveaway to his union cronies. Money was allocated for our overfunded and underperforming schools, which continue to be owned and operated by teachers’ unions. Then there was money thrown at infrastructure construction – done with union labor, of course. And a little more money for a few major corporations, mostly ones managed by large Democratic contributors and every one a sizeable employer of – surprise! –union members. The temporary reduction in payroll taxes for both employers and employees is a short-term handout that even Democrats are unhappy about, principally because it drains money from Social Security and Medicare. Once again, Democrats have to decide whether these are entitlement programs or retirement programs (which would have to be funded on an actuarial basis). They can’t have it both ways.
Second, the President presented his non-negotiable payment plan, in which he insisted that there can’t be any spending reductions without tax increases. To be fair, the President did propose some “budget cuts” but only if you accept his definition of budget cuts. Saving $1.1 trillion because of troop drawdowns, for example, is not a budget cut. Obama plans to withdraw 30,000 soldiers from Afghanistan in 2012. Regardless of the wisdom of this policy, the fact that the troops won’t be there in 2013 is not a cut. The primary purpose of the federal government is defense, and soldiers should be withdrawn for military, not budgetary reasons.