There he goes again. More than six months after surrendering to Republican demands that this isn't the time to raise taxes in a weak, jobless economy, Barack Obama is peddling the same old snake oil medicine of higher taxes.
Last December, after Republicans crushed the Democrats in the midterm elections, largely on economic issues, Obama suddenly changed his tune and agreed to extend all of President George W. Bush's tax-rate cuts for another two years, including the top rates for the richest taxpayers. The argument that raising income taxes when the economy was on life-support turned out to be a clear political winner for the GOP, even drawing support from Democrats in Congress.
Now, seven months later, with the U.S. economy weaker than it was last December and job growth virtually at a dead halt, Obama is saying that the solution to our fiscal and economic troubles is to raise taxes on investors, employers and big corporations.
What planet is Obama living on? At one point in his Monday news conference, he said it was fair to tax more income from the wealthy because they don't "need it" and poor people do. Where did he learn this school of economics? To each according to his needs? Where have we heard that one before?
At another point in his news conference, he said wealthier people were not paying their "fair share" of the nation's income taxes. But the Congressional Budget Office said earlier this year that the richest 20 percent of all Americans pay 86 percent of all federal income taxes.
One has to ask how closely Obama studied the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' June jobs numbers that came out last Friday. That report, a snapshot of the economy at the halfway point in the third year of his presidency, stunned the White House, sent shock waves through the financial markets and deflated any hope the economy is going to rebound before the 2012 elections.
In a nation of 311 million people, the Obama economy added a pathetic 18,000 jobs to payrolls in June, less than one-fifth of what administration economists had expected, and nowhere near what is needed to cut unemployment down to normal levels in this decade. That pushed the jobless rate up to 9.2 percent, while previous job growth was revised downward by a combined 44,000 jobs for April and May. The economy is creating fewer jobs than the government said it was.
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