Obama's top advisers said yesterday he's "likely" to back off from his vow to speed up the elimination of a tax break for the wealthy.
The about-face on the issue comes as the US careens toward recession, and as Obama says he wants Congress to approve huge new spending and new tax cuts to stimulate the economy.
Holding off on a pledge to "soak the rich" makes good sense. What's most noteworthy (aside from the breaking of another left-pleasing campaign promise) is the implicit concession that underlies it: That tax increases (yes, even those on "the rich") only stifle economic growth -- thereby reducing the number of jobs that can be created and the amount of money circulating in private enterprise (thereby helping more people earn better livings). And that hurts everyone, "rich" and poor alike.
By making the right decision -- delaying the implementation of his tax increases -- President-elect Obama has essentially admitted that tax increases are bad for the economy. So why would you ever raise them?