Obama’s American Jobs Act: Ironically Conservative

Posted by | Filed under Tax Policy | Sep 9, 2011 | Tags: , , |
President Obama addresses Congress

"...tweets flying back and forth."

President Obama recently addressed a joint session of congress to pitch the American Jobs Act. As he stated, the goal of the bill is to create jobs. This sounds noble; however it ignores the simple fact that it is not the government’s job to create jobs.

The President has it in his mind that conservatives are out to sabotage all democratic proposed legislation. He has paranoid delusions about a republican conspiracy to thwart his every move. The truth is, the republicans are not voting against legislation put forth by the President out of spite, or for political gain. Republicans are voting against the President because all of the legislation that the president puts fourth is fatally flawed.

President Obama mentioned tax cuts at least 13 times over the course of his speech, not counting the sarcastic quip that generated unintended applause and standing ovation from the conservatives. What Mr. Obama and the administration fail to realize is that the republican-led congress will likely not fall for the President’s tax-cutting trickeries.

“I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live.  Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes.” – Barack Obama [1]

President Obama thinks that by proposing tax cuts, a traditionally republican tenet, he can corner republicans into voting down their own ideology simply because it is democratic legislation. In other words, the President is espousing conservative philosophy in an attempt to force republicans to vote for what are supposedly his policies. In the same breath, he says that he wants to “stop the political circus.”

Republicans will vote down this legislation not just because it ironically aligns with their values, but because they know that, despite the fact that Obama is attempting to use republican rhetoric to gain bipartisan support, he is using bad arguments and butchering conservative ideology.

For instance, Obama has suggested several tax cuts in this new legislation. The problem, as Michele Bachmann’s campaign pointed out, is that “temporary tax cuts add to the nation’s $14-trillion deficit.”[2] The President made the mistake of conflating  tax cuts, which add to the deficit, with permanent tax cuts, which do not add to the deficit.

The President made several arguments for why Congress should “pass this jobs bill.”

“We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake and where everybody pays their fair share. And by the way, I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.” – Barack Obama [1]

One must not ignore the very large “if” in the preceding quote. The President cited Warren Buffett as an example of a CEO who pays less in taxes than his secretary. He asserted that Warren Buffett wants us to fix this outrage. Although that is correct [3], the methods by which the President intends to “fix the outrage,” by increasing taxes on the wealthy, cannot possibly be what Buffett actually intended.

One need not look farther than where Buffett donates his fortunes. 85% of his money will go to charity [4], and not to the U.S. government. Implicit in that decision is a belief that private organizations and charities will do better with the money than the U.S. government. It was disingenuous of Obama to cite Buffett, who was obviously insincere in his op-ed.

Mr. Obama asks: “Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?  Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?”

The President calls them “tax loopholes,” however in reality oil companies are simply following tax law as it stands. That tax law was put into place by a democratically elected government. To call them loopholes insinuates they are not being utilized as intended.

Why do the “loopholes” still exist? Because not everyone in congress believes they are “loopholes.” Furthermore, this false dichotomy does not take into account the lobbyists that oil companies would have to lay off because of lost profits from increased taxes.

“Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill.  Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?” – Barack Obama [1]

You might never have become President… you are not helping your argument, Mr. Obama.


[1] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/08/address-president-joint-session-congress
[2] http://iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=245933
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/business/26buffett.html

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