Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obama's "Stick It To The Rich" Plan, Take II.

Another day, another speech. If speeches were gold, we'd prolly all be swimming in a pool of Ciroc and caviar right now.[1]
President Obama unveiled a plan on Monday to cut the national debt by roughly $3 trillion over the next decade.

Obama's plan reflects his vision for how best to put the country on a more fiscally sustainable course, so it is different in nature than the kind of legislative compromise he was trying to broker this summer during the debt-ceiling debate, a senior administration official said.

A driving principle behind the proposal is that high-income individuals and corporations should pay more in taxes than they do currently so that they will bear some of the burden of debt reduction going forward.

Obama even introduced the "Buffett Rule" for millionaires -- named after investor Warren Buffett, who has frequently argued that the very rich are not taxed enough.

But the Obama plan has already drawn criticism from Republicans, who have been adamant about not wanting to raise anyone's taxes. The plan Obama released includes some $3 trillion in savings on top of the nearly $1 trillion already signed into law under the debt ceiling deal enacted in August.

Of that, however, close to $500 billion would have to be used to pay for the American Jobs Act, which Obama proposed last week. And a third of the savings he proposes would come from expected war savings.

Indeed, in remarks on Monday morning, the president threatened to veto any debt-reduction legislation that cuts benefits and doesn't include higher taxes on the wealthy. "I will not support any plan that puts all the burden on ordinary Americans," he said.
Look, Obama is my dude and all. I frequently criticize him here, not because I don't support him (I do), but because I hope he's keeping his ear to the streets (aka: the internets) and listening to what we have to say. Dude appears to be in for the fight of his life next year. I'm obviously on his side, and couldn't stomach seeing any of his perspective opponents (save for Romney, whom I could tolerate) being inaugurated come January 2013. So lets get that clear for once and for all. He has been mediocre at best, but I'd certainly rather have him and yet another gunslinger from the Lone Star State.

That said, this latest proposal is going to fail miserably because it's basically more of the same. He couldn't get taxes raised on the wealthy when Dems controlled both chambers, there's no reason to expect a different outcome given the current political climate. Rolling decreased war spending into an overall deficit reduction plan is dubious math at best, blatant dishonesty at worst. The whole class warfare, rich pay more argument makes perfectly good sense to me, but Obama hasn't been able to "sell it" in the court of public opinion yet. The GOP beat him to the punch with their "don't penalize success or tax job creators" talking point, and he has no counter move yet. And good luck with Stimulus II while you're at it.

So yeah, basically, this goose is cooked.

Question: Thoughts on Obama's deficit reduction plan? How can he reposition the "taxing the rich" issue to appeal to more voters and push the GOP to pass this?

[1] Uhhh, on second thought, cancel that pool.

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