Originally Published: July 7, 2011 9:56 p.m.
Does President Obama believe that tax cuts increase economic activity?
Of course. He signed an extension of the Bush tax cuts last year. Since then, he asked for and received another temporary tax cut in the form of a payroll tax holiday for employees and is trying to get a cut in the employer contribution.
For two years this president has pushed runaway government spending as a solution to our economic recession - with disastrous results - mostly aimed at protecting the jobs of his political base. His policies have failed to the extent that many experts now believe we are about to experience a "second dip" in an economy that he thought had hit bottom. Now he is facing a hostile Congress. The House has 82 new Republicans who have been sent to Washington with a mandate to put the brakes on the Obama Express.
Yet, facing an approaching debt limit that will force an unmanaged cut in spending, the administration is demanding that tax hikes be part of an agreement to raise the debt limit. In particular, he wants to skewer big oil because they make big profits. He refuses to acknowledge that 1. Their profit margin is within the commonly accepted limits of all other businesses that take risks and return those profits to stockholders - such as public employee unions, automaker unions, etc, and 2. Over 10 million jobs in this country depend on oil companies.
This is not 1996. If Mr. Obama thinks he can shut down the government (while guaranteeing public sector employees they'll be reimbursed - ala 1996 - for time off) and push the blame on Republicans, he has seriously misread public opinion. Polls show that 70 percent of voters think failing to increase the debt limit is bad. 56 percent of them think increased spending is worse.