Obama in Debate over Tax Cuts
Obama attended a meeting today of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He was planning to talk about “Skills for America’s Future,” an initiative to expand partnerships between American companies and community colleges. This plan is backed by McDonald’s, Accenture, and Gap Inc. among others.
But most of the meeting ended up being an argument over taxes. SEC Chairman William Donaldson and Harvard economist Martin Feldstein both argued for making the tax cuts permanent for all income brackets. They both used the tired cliché about consumer confidence and certainty.
Obama said that if the tax cuts were extended for everyone except the top 2%, “You'd think that would provide some level of certainty.”
He said the wealthiest Americans can already afford luxury items and aren’t holding off on purchases until they get their tax cut. Making the tax cuts permanent for millionaires would cost the treasury an additional $700 billion. “If we were going to spend $700 billion, it seems it would be wiser having that $700 billion going to folks who would spend that money right away.”
He included himself in the category of “well off,” and said the well off would not simply “take our ball and go home” if their tax cuts aren’t made permanent.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker agreed, saying, “I want to assure you that my psychology will not be affected.”
Obama had opened the meeting by criticizing Republicans who want to cut the deficit by cutting education funding. But doesn’t he understand? The less we spend on education, the more dummies — i.e. Republicans — will be churned out by our crumbling schools system.