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January 19, 2015

An Orchestrated, Loud Guffaw

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President Obama’s State of the Union proposals will apparently demonstrate the same failure to acknowledge reality that we’ve come to expect from this president. Instead of recognizing the political reality of a Republican Congress and seeking to work with it, as President Clinton did, Obama seems more interested in poking his opponents in the eye and scoring points with his bedrock liberal supporters at the expense of accomplishing things for the American people.

First, the president is proposing busting the sequester spending caps by $68 billion in this year alone (a 7 percent increase over the agreed upon sequester limits), attempting to renege on a rare bipartisan Obama-era agreement with Congress. With inflation running only about 1 percent, asking government to grow by 8 or 9 percent is absurd. At the same time that President Obama takes credit for deficit reduction accomplished through the sequester, he is proposing busting the sequester limits. That is either cynical, incoherent, or both.

And to pay for it, the president wants to raise taxes by a whopping $320 billion, concentrating the new taxes increases on investment—precisely the wrong place to raise taxes if we want economic growth to increase. As President Reagan reminded us, when you tax something, you get less of it. Investment is the mother’s milk of economic growth, and were President Obama permitted to increase taxes on investment, economic growth would once again stagnate. That’s why Congressional Republicans should consider an orchestrated, loud guffaw when the President proposes his tax and spending agenda.

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