Good Move, Mr. President
by Deacon Blues
I have to give credit where credit is due. Back on August 11th, I thrashed Barack Obama and his White House for not leading on jobs, and for not having the guts and intellect to offer a second stimulus program. I even said this:
Tax expenditures currently cost the Treasury over $1 trillion a year. The GOP will whine about any second stimulus and the spending behind it, so the White House should design a package comprised of WPA-style infrastructure investments, block grant aid to state and local governments, and yes, mortgage help that matters. How to pay for it? Why not tap into some of those tax expenditures and close those loopholes, using that money for investing in people and families, rather than the false hope that such revenue can be redirected for a better tax system.
Financing a second stimulus through tax expenditures places the GOP in an untenable position, and would also be supported by the public. It would demonstrate that the Democrats are not willing to throw millions over the cliff for the false dogma from bond vigilantes and confidence fairies.
The White House said on Monday that it would cover most of the cost of his payroll tax cut and other job initiatives by limiting the deductions that can be claimed on the tax returns of wealthier taxpayers.
Jack Lew, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the bulk of the plan –- some $400 billion over ten years — would be raised by limiting the itemized deductions, such as those for charitable contributions and other expenditures, that may be taken by individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making over $250,000 a year. The rest would come from provisions affecting oil and gas companies, hedge funds, and the owners of corporate jets.
Mr. President, bravo! We here at TLC take no credit for this brilliance on your part. While we're at it though, we'd recommend that you spend the rest of the year going into GOP districts to remind constituents that their representative approved spending billions of taxpayer dollars for infrastructure in Iraq, and yet these same representatives are against doing so here in America.
Just a thought.