Paul Krugman's latest column indirectly hints at the puzzling reality of President Obama's stimulus plan: tax cuts are useless. Krugman tries to defend Obama's plan against the criticism the Republican Party of failures and losers has tried to paint it with. And he does a good job of defending every aspect of the bill--except for the foolish tax cuts that Obama has decided to include.
In fact, Krugman chooses to indirectly discuss the huge tax-cut portion of the bill:
The point is that nobody really believes that a dollar of tax cuts is always better than a dollar of public spending. Meanwhile, it’s clear that when it comes to economic stimulus, public spending provides much more bang for the buck than tax cuts — and therefore costs less per job created (see the previous fraudulent argument) — because a large fraction of any tax cut will simply be saved.
This suggests that public spending rather than tax cuts should be the core of any stimulus plan. But rather than accept that implication, conservatives take refuge in a nonsensical argument against public spending in general.
This is a marvelous argument for ignoring tax cuts the Republican failures have been suggesting. But what Krugs forgets to mention is that President Obama has decided to waste a full one-third of his proposed stimulus plan on tax cuts anyway.
Krugman tries to run some cover by saying the "core" of any plan shouldn't be about tax cuts. But the fact of the matter is 1/3 of one of the biggest spending bills in the history of this nation IS about tax cuts and IS something everyone should pay attention to. Just because tax cuts are not the "core" of the spending in this bill does not make tthem any more useful.
President Obama's stimulus plan includes tax cuts for no reason other than to kiss some Republican ass. But the plan to please the party of losers and failures has already backfired, and now it is being criticized by the Republican failures as not having enough tax cuts.
The GOP is pushing especially hard for a new round of traditional tax cuts, while suggesting that the Democrats are rushing into new government spending programs that will send the deficit soaring. Democrats contend that only large-scale federal action can stabilize the economy and begin the process of recovery.
Those competing positions were reflected both in Obama's radio speech and in GOP comments Saturday.
"On the House side they seem to be moving toward a vote on Wednesday, and unless there are some real changes in the bill, I can't imagine there will be much, if any, Republican support," said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
There's a big surprise from bonner boy! Obama tries to bring the failures along and they cry like babies the whole car ride.
In effect, the White House and congressional Republicans are engaged in the early stages of a political negotiation in which Obama seeks to pass his stimulus program with at least a plausible claim of bipartisan support. Republicans want to exert as much influence over the final package as they can without appearing to obstruct action on a problem that has stirred deep concern among millions of voters.
The Republican Party is the party that disgracefully and pathetically cut taxes during war-time, and is largely responsible for the failing of our economy. Instead of recognizing that their third-grader response to one of the biggest economic emergencies in history is useless and should be ignored, Obama not only gives them taxes cuts, but he throws the microphone in their face so they can cry for more.
I know, maybe President Obama should just gut the measly 18% on infrastructure and make 51% of the bill tax cuts! That will get those 30 to 40 useless Republican votes he wants! This is predictable. The failure party knows that if Obama puts too much spending and not enough tax cuts the American people will actually be HAPPY with the results of this bill. Thus, the Republican failures are going to fight it tooth and nail by pushing for tax cuts until Democrats in the House squeal. They don't want people to get a whiff of what affordable healthcare is like, they don't want kids going to schools that will be modernized under this plan, and they don't want women having a government that supports their reproductive privacy.
Americans are not screaming for tax cuts. We are screaming for jobs that pay a decent wage! And President Obama doesn't need bi-partisan consensus--he already has REAL consensus built into the government via a huge Democratic majority in the House and a solid majority in the Senate. The reality-based consensus is clear: tax cutting Republican losers are out, pro-growth Democrats are in!
Pick off a few Republicans and this is over, why waste your time on tax cuts to get 30 more of these idiots to sign on? Who cares! The American people surely are not clamoring "Oh, Please, Mr. President, get those Republican losers to sign on! We want bi-partisanship! Screw getting things done, as long as you can pick up 30 Republican votes! Who cares if you exchange meaningful spending for useless taxes! At least you will get the Republicans!"
One wonders what the hell Obama was thinking in the first place when he decided to play into Republican hands by surrendering a third of his stimulus plan to useless tax cuts. On the one hand, it could be political strategy: put in some tax cuts so Republicans look like little bitches when they complain about a bill that Obama put tax cuts in just to please them in the first place. On the other, Obama may have naively thought the village idiots would collectively be happy with his tax cuts and let the whole package slide through.
Either way, the end result is more useless tax cuts and less spending on infrastructure and solid improvements. And either way the Republicans will cry like wimps and cowards over any bill that may actually help the American people.