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LAMBRO: Obama’s Plan B: Raise revenue by closing tax loopholes
Out of own ideas, president buys into GOP’s
A flummoxed Mr. Obama testily replied, “Well, Julie, give me an example of what I might do.” He then asked the rest of the assembled press corps, “So what more do you think I should do?”
It was a rather sad moment for a president who thinks he has all the answers to the nation’s economic troubles. In fact, he is running on empty.
Now, all of a sudden, he says he’s for reforming the federal tax code and maybe lowering some rates, though his entire campaign was all about raising taxes to pay for his big spending plans.
He called for “comprehensive tax reform” last month in his State of the Union address. Instead of framing his proposal within the context of growing a dead-in-the-water economy, he said we needed to go after “billionaires with high-powered accountants.”
Instead of calling for across-the-board tax-cut reforms mirroring the uplifting rhetoric of John F. Kennedy’s “a rising tide lifts all boats,” Mr. Obama angrily characterized the issue in terms of going after “the well-off and well-connected.”
Despite Wall Street’s bull rally, the cold, hard economic reality is that America’s depressed labor force is smaller now than it was when Mr. Obama took office four years ago.
Venture capital investments, the mother’s milk of an expansionist, job-creating economy, fell nationwide by 10 percent last year, according to a report by the National Venture Capital Association. In addition, Mr. Obama has succeeded in raising taxes on the very people who invest the most in our economy.
Now it is obvious that none of his policies have reignited the economy, which can do no better than a limp 2 percent annual growth rate. When compared with President Reagan’s 6 percent growth rate as he began his second term, Mr. Obama needs to look elsewhere for answers.
His reluctant eleventh-hour conversion to tax reform is a welcome change. Will he fully embrace the GOP’s plans to broaden the tax base through loophole closings in order to lower the rates and trigger strong economic growth? Put me down as doubtful.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.
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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
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