So we should all be grateful that President Obama is just now coming out for a corporate tax rate cut? But does anyone really believe he's had a supply-side epiphany?
That this is an election year surely wouldn't have anything to do with his apparent change of heart, would it? He's been president for more than three years, and Republicans have been clamoring all that time for a reduction in the world's second-highest corporate tax rate. So don't you think that if Obama truly favored this, it would have happened long ago?
But there's something more cynical about Obama's new proposal. It wouldn't operate as advertised.
As we get closer to the 2012 general election campaign, Obama wants to be positioned to compete with the eventual nominee on this issue. Newt would cut the current 35 percent rate to 12.5 percent. Romney would reduce it to 25 percent. And Santorum would reduce it to 17.5 percent for all corporations except domestic manufacturers, which would be exempted from the tax.
Obama calls for a modest reduction, to 28 percent, which would still be reason to cheer coming from him, but it's not quite that simple. Underneath the smoke and to the side of the mirrors, we find it's just another ploy to empower Obama to pick the winners and losers.
He pretends he'd merely be leveling the playing field by "closing loopholes," which for him is code for eliminating legitimate deductions. So with one hand, he would extend corporations their tax rate reduction, but with the other -- the one donning the magician's white glove -- he'd grab it back by eliminating the deductions -- I mean sinister loopholes -- for the evil corporations he's made a practice of demonizing and bullying the past three years.
With his magician's sword, he would stick it to -- surprise -- the insurance demons, the oil and gas monsters, and those evil owners of private jets, as opposed to the ones he, his family and his dog fly -- sometimes separately, no less, in the interest of racking up their carbon footprint while ordering the reduction of everyone else's.
Who would be outside his sword's reach? Why, his green-energy cronies, of course, who would receive preferential tax incentives to encourage them to invest money in ways no non-subsidized entrepreneur would dare.