How Obama the Magician will fix the economy 1

 Kimberly A Strassel writes in the Wall Street Journal:

And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world’s most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity! (And hold your applause until the end, please.)

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don’t pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It’s called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don’t. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

[Potomac Watch]Ken Fallin

For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he’ll do it byraising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation’s biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It’s simple, really. He has a wand.

Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects whatsoever! You may have heard that for the past 40 years most politicians believed deregulation was good for the U.S. economy. You might have even heard that much of today’s financial mess tracks to loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses. Our magician will show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation and risk-taking, and will fix this with new, all-encompassing rules. Presto! …

And just watch the Great Obama perform a feat never yet managed in all history. He will create that enormous new government health program, spend billions to transform our energy economy, provide financial assistance to former Soviet satellites, invest in infrastructure, increase education spending, provide job training assistance, and give 95% of Americans a tax (ahem) cut – all without raising the deficit a single penny! And he’ll do it in the middle of a financial crisis. And with falling tax revenues! Voila!

Moving along to a little ventriloquism. Study his mouth carefully, folks: It looks like he’s saying "I’ll stop the special interests," when in fact the words coming out are "Welcome to Washington, friends!" Wind and solar companies, ethanol makers, tort lawyers, unions, community organizers – all are welcome to feed at the public trough and to request special favors. From now on "special interests" will only refer to universally despised, if utterly crucial, economic players. Say, oil companies. Hocus Pocus!

And for tonight’s finale, the Great Obama will uphold America’s "moral" obligation to "stop genocide" by abandoning Iraq! While teleported to the region, he will simultaneously convince Iranian leaders to peacefully abandon their nuclear pursuits (even as he does not sit down with them), fix Afghanistan with a strategy that does not resemble the Iraqi surge, and (drumroll!) pull Osama bin Laden out of his hat!

Tada!

You can clap now. (Applause. Cheers.) We’d like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone’s fun.

We know he’s in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today’s financial crisis on corporate "greed," and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We’d also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself these past weeks. It has helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.

As for that show, we’d love to invite you all back for next week’s performance, when the Great Obama will thrill with new, amazing exploits. He will respect your Second Amendment rights even as he regulates firearms! He will renegotiate Nafta, even as he supports free trade! He will …

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 10, 2008

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink
  • Princeps@Luukku.com

    This is really a pathetic article. And you get that from its deeply resentful tone. First of all, given that overwhelming majority of American economists support Obama’s economic policies over McCain’s, the disgusting arrogance of this article seems quite unjustified. It has a lot of mockery, but little facts.

    Let’s go through it then.

    “And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world’s most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity! (And hold your applause until the end, please.)”

    Now notice this line. Nothing new or meaningful is added, just partisan drivel. And as for defying “economics”… well.

    “To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don’t pay income taxes!”

    Oh, but income taxes are not the only form of taxes, despite the conservative claims. Most of the working class and middle class are burdened by payroll taxes (which Reagan, for example, raised). Therefore, compensating the middle class through the tax regime doens’t seem

    “Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as “welfare,” but please try not to ruin the show.”

    Yeah, and you know, taxing capital gains at a preferential rate is a form of subsidy to a very narrow group of people. It’s also in violation of free market ideals, but you don’t hear conservatives lambasting it, do you? Nope.

    “For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he’ll do it byraising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami!”

    Um, nope. Most small businesses, which are the largest employers, would not suffer increased taxes. And furthermore, tax relief for businesses hasn’t had the enormous positive economic effect that the conservatives claim it has.

    “That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners,”

    Intersting, so the top 1% who own half of the entire economy, are “small business owners”?

    And furthermore, Reagan and Carter both lowered taxes on the top 1% percent to no meaningful positive economic contribution. The argument usually is that by lowering taxes on the top, the rich will invest more. This is contradicted by historical evidence. Private investment declined by 1.2 percent under the Reagan administration.

    “and the nation’s biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world.”

    Oh, I’m sorry, but this is false. US corporate tax rates are nowhere near “some of the highest”, in fact, US corporate tax regime is quite lenient. In fact, in practice US has the fourth lowest corporate tax revenues in the world. A lot of corporations dodge corporate taxes entirely.

    “You might have even heard that much of today’s financial mess tracks to loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses.”

    But this is nonsense. Fannie and Freddie did not cause the crisis. You can simply look at the facts. Most of the subprime market was pioneered by private companies.

    “Our magician will show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation”

    Indeed, I think this article is on to something! You see financial markets are not like manifactures or silicon valley, where deregulation and innovation are positive forces (often). “Innovate” financial products, which were far too complex for people to understand, were a severe catalyst in this crisis.

    Bye.

    and will fix this with new, all-encompassing rules. Presto! …