President-elect Barack Obama's campaign promise to cut spending has been waylaid by the reality of the economy, and he warned Monday that the deficit is going to grow and spending cuts will have to take a back seat now to stimulating the economy.See, that's fine with me, tax increases should be postponed in any economic climate. If tax increases would hurt the economy now, why was he still promising them just a scant three weeks ago? What has changed? Other than the fact that he was elected by mouthing the platitude about tax cut for 95% of Americans and raising taxes on the 5% who make too much money in his estimate? Of course, it was just rhetoric three weeks ago, 21 months ago, and I warned that the tax cuts would be the first thing he threw under the bus.
He also signaled he may forgo immediate tax increases on high-income families and instead wait for the Bush tax cuts to expire.
Probably more importantly, if tax increases might damage the economy now, why is it that they're being considered in the future? Why are they planning on letting the Bush tax cuts expire. Don't they understand that the economy today is based on predictions for the future? If there's a tax hike in our future, that will stall the economy, too.
He also said he would announce "meaningful cuts and sacrifices," though it was not clear whether that would include specific line items or broad principles.Yeah, well, I expect that that Obama's backers don't have much to worry about. When a Democrat talks about "cuts and sacrifices", it means the military is about to pay the price. It's easier to waylay defense advances than it is to cut truly useless government programs that buy votes in the inner cities - that's why Republicans get called "big spenders" because they have to make up for the cuts of their Democrat predecessors in the military spending area. Up-armored HMMVs should have been a priority after Mogadishu, not after Baghdad. Fielding M1s and M2s should have started after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan not four years later.
The Wall Street Journal writes that Obama's plan to create 2.5 million jobs with taxpayer money is drawing fire from the few Republicans left in Congress;
The plans brought a quick retort from House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio. He said lawmakers "should start listening to the American people, who do not believe increasing government spending is the best way to put our economy back on track." He proposed eliminating the capital gains tax, which is currently 15%, as well as other tax cuts.Yeah, well, we already know that answer. The Democrats aren't interested in building a constituency in the Pentagon.
Other Republicans said some large-scale economic intervention is inevitable. "We clearly need a stimulus initiative, and it's clearly got to be a big one," said Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and a budget hawk. "The question is, 'Is it just going to be walking-around money for the usual liberal constituencies that does nothing?"'
Of course it could be worse - Barbara Mikulsky could be in charge.