"We're working with Congress to develop a tax-cut package based on a simple principle - what will have the biggest and most immediate impact on creating private sector jobs and strengthening the middle class. We're guided by what works, not by any ideology or special interests," an Obama spokesperson told CNNMoney.com in an e-mail.This is a fancy way of saying, "oh hey, we just caved to the biggest, whiniest special interest group of all. Can you guess which one? It starts with an 'R'. Haha no, not retards, but close!"
Obama's economic team has apparently decided that throwing tax cuts into the stimulus bill will decrease the likelihood of Republican temper tantrums blocking it in Congress. The problem, as John Maynard Keynes pointed out on my blog, is that tax cuts are likely to be saved and have little stimulative effect. Facing a $1 trillion deficit in 2009, the last thing we need is to have to come back in the middle of the year to spend hundreds of billions more because the first bill did nothing but leave a giant hole in the coffers.
I fail to understand how this even makes sense politically. If the tax cuts pass and are ineffective, Republicans can bitch on and on about how the stimulus bill failed and caused gay marriage or whatever. It'd make much more sense to let them try to block an anti-recession bill, in the middle of a recession, and thereby condemn their approval ratings to single-digits forever.
Republicans never offer anything constructive, just utterly mindless calls for tax cuts. Budget surplus? Tax cuts. Budget deficit? Tax cuts. War? Uh, tax cuts? Great Depression, Jr.? Tax cuts, duh. Tax cuts? Yay, tax cuts. Who can forget special-needs child Eric Cantor valiantly calling for a cut in the capital gains tax during the only time in recent memory when no one had any.
I get the impression Republicans love tax cuts because they like pretending that they're the defenders of capitalism or something. And this means they love capitalism only insofar as it absolves them of the responsibility to think.
But here comes Barry, just giving it to them.