LAMBRO: Obama’s recipe for poverty

Budget preview shows looming catastrophe

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Record deficits, record debt and a prolonged four years of weak economic growth and high unemployment are not much of a record to run on this year.

The White House, however, is still living in a dream world of its own, claiming that the president’s economic policies are working. “I know that the economic policies that this president has put into place, working with Congress and then, when necessary, without Congress, have had the effect of reversing the most dramatic negative trend in employment since the Great Depression,” presidential spokesman Jay Carney said this week.

In fact, the national unemployment rate when Mr. Obama took office in January 2009 was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent the month before. It has not only risen to well over 9 percent under his presidency, CBO now says that it will resume rising in the year to come.

Mr. Obama’s class-warfare answer to the government’s looming deficits and debt is to raise taxes on overtaxed Americans, nearly half of whom say they are struggling.

The White House and Democrats in Congress are still eyeing the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year. That will put more revenue into the Treasury, but it also would further undermine economic expansion, such as it is, which would weaken long-term growth and reduce revenues.

The only answer to the fiscal catastrophe that faces us is to apply the brakes on spending and boost economic growth by keeping taxes low.

Instead of talking about taxing the rich, who are paying most of the income taxes now, Mr. Obama should call for tax reforms to lower the rates by eliminating many needless tax breaks, income exemptions and corporate welfare.

The plan to do that is in his own deficit-cutting commission report, which he shelved without action.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

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