Obama's convoluted tax policies
By Ralph R. Reiland
Published: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Here's President Obama in August 2009 discussing the link between tax increases, recessions and business growth: “The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put business in a further hole.”
Today, in a still weak economy, raising taxes has moved from being the “last thing” to do to being Mr. Obama's top priority.
Single-handedly, ObamaCare, counting premium mandates and penalties, is likely to become the largest tax increase in U.S. history.
And that's just the beginning. On the Obama administration's to-do list to create a world that's fairer and cleaner are higher taxes on dividends, capital gains, high-earners, interest income, overseas profits, inheritances and fossil fuels.
When Obama delivered the aforementioned warning about the negative impact on business from hiking taxes during a recession, the U.S. economy was growing at a faster pace than this year's economy.
“Real GDP increased 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009,” reports the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.
This year's economic growth, in contrast, makes the August 2009 quarter look good. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that “real GDP in the United States expanded 2.0 percent in third quarter of 2012” and “1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012.”
We're now three years past Obama's anti-tax, pro-business prescription for economic recovery, and the federal debt has expanded by $3.6 trillion; the real unemployment rate is 15 percent (counting the unemployed who've quit looking for work and counting the “involuntary part-timers” who can't find full-time employment); economic growth is substantially lower than in August 2009; and Obama is no longer saying that raising taxes in a bad economy is the “last thing” to do.
Here's the August 2009 exchange between NBC's Chuck Todd and President Obama:
Todd: “Let me jump to another topic, Scott Ferguson. He's upset about taxes. He says, ‘Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a recession is going to help the economy.' And he actually wants you to look at historical markers where this has happened, where this has been a helpful thing coming out of a recession.”
Obama: “Well, first of all, he is right. Normally, you don't raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven't and why we cut taxes. So I guess what I would say to Scott is his economics are right, you don't raise taxes in a recession. We haven't raised taxes in a recession.”
Todd: “But you might for health care. You might for the highest, for some of the wealthiest.”
Obama: “We have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress, which by the way were different from the proposals I put forward, still wouldn't kick in until after the recession was over. So he is absolutely right. The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put business in a further hole.”
So we're not now in an official recession —just the worst recovery since World War II. But now it's OK to raise taxes and put “business in a further hole”?
Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University and a local restaurateur. His email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snowden captivates tech crowd
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Search under way for missing hikers in McConnells Mill State Park
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Ross boy burned by water treated at UPMC Mercy
- Fox Chapel Area superintendent seeks rapport with students
- Stage volunteer dies following collapse at Pine-Richland High School
- CASD plans Fitness and Wellness Fair in April
- ACC Tournament manages to deliver an inherent history lesson