Monday, September 6, 2010

A year late Mr President

Talk about a day late and a dollar short. Only now, two years after the political class knew that the recession was a big one, is the president coming up with business tax cuts. At least that is what is being predicted for the president's speech on Wednesday.

Apparently the president will propose $100 billion in business tax cuts including an R&D tax credit and $35 billion in small business tax cuts.

Frankly, Mr. President, the fact that you are coming up with this crowd-pleasing package now, within 60 days of an election, an election in which your party is expected to get clobbered, is a very good reason to vote against you.

You are telling us that only when you have been hit over the head with a 2 by 4 are you willing to propose a sensible, practical economic policy.

Look, I understand that politics is power. I understand that politicians don't give a damn about the economy except to the extent that it can deliver revenues to the government.

But the American people have a right to expect that, when they elect a president, he would be sensitive to the needs of the economy. We don't expect the president to be way out ahead of public opinion, but we do expect him to be right there in the center of conventional wisdom.

We believe it is outrageous when the president is just about the last person in America to realize that the way you stimulate the economy is with changes to the marginal costs that businesses must pay, i.e., taxes and government mandates.

And conventional wisdom has held for a while now that straight Keynesianism is not an appropriate response to a downturn in the economy. Why? Because Keynesian economics does not really comprehend that all business decisions are taken at the margin. It just sprays out money to political favored constituencies and hopes that everything will return to normal when the government runs out of spray money.

There's an old story, Mr. President, about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. When we talk about the economy that means thinking about how government decisions affect businesses. If you raise income tax rates on high-income business owners, then the chances are that the business owners will have less money to expand their businesses. If you have high tax rates on corporate income then chances are that corporations will get over-leveraged and find themselves badly burned by an economic downturn.

Only now, Mr. President, after your economic policies have failed to restart the economy, only now with electoral disaster staring you in the face, are you proposing economic policies that are semi-oriented towards helping economic recovery.

I'd say, Mr. President, that when an administration bungles economic policy has badly as yours has done, that there is only one thing for the voters to do: throw the bums out.

But then, that's why I voted for you back in 2008. I figured that nothing would cure the voters of Democratic government faster than Democratic government.

As usual, I was wrong. I had no clue, no clue how fast the American voters would reject the people and the policies of the Democratic ruling class.

Now, about those entitlements, Mr. President.

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