Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Other people's money
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|Other people's money|
The agreement President Obama hammered out this week with congressional Republicans over extending the Bush-era tax cuts for a couple more years showed us Obama is willing to say and do anything for political expediency.
Not that we didn't already know it, but the Texas two-step Obama pulled off over the income tax rate squabble confirmed Obama lacks depth—and the depth he has is lacking at best. The word spineless comes to mind, but I won't go that far in describing a president of the United States.
Yet, who can blame Obama for cutting a deal with Republicans? After all, the GOP was correct in insisting that income tax rates remain unchanged because the worst policy to pursue in the midst of a recession is one that entails raising taxes. Any taxes.
Surprisingly, Obama recognized Republicans were right and he and his party were wrong. Accordingly, with his presidency on the ropes in light of the outcome of the November mid-term elections, Obama abandoned his base of support among radical Left-wingers and signed off on Republican demands to grant carte blanche their wishes to extend the current income tax rates, which were scheduled to expire Dec. 31.
Not only did Obama cave big-time in negotiations with Republicans, he angered the radical Left, which holds dear to its heart the belief that the country would be better off if we all paid far more taxes so the federal government could spend more money on the people. Deficits be damned.
Speaking of deficits, Left-wingers have been busy of late criticizing Republicans for insisting that no new taxes be levied on the backs of the American people. The Left cites concern for deficit spending if the Congress ultimately approves extending the Bush-era tax rates. They say the federal government can't afford to give up the revenues it would collect if the tax rates the Congress first approved in 2001 fell by the wayside beginning Jan. 1. The government simply needs more money, the Left believes.
Where were the Left-wingers and their concern for the deficit when the Congress was busy approving an Obama-backed $1 trillion stimulus package? Moreover, why isn't the Left raising hell over the $1.3 trillion deficit the federal government recorded in the 2010 fiscal year?
In the spirit of the being fair, though, the Left doesn't openly object to extending the Bush-era tax rates for low- and middle-income wage earners. Instead, the Left's anger is directed at extending the Bush-era tax rates for so-called wealthy Americans, or wage earners who make more than $200,000 annually. You see, in the eyes of the Left, you're rich if you make more than $200,000 a year.
In the next week or two, the Congress, including its Left-wing members, will approve extending the Bush-era tax rates. They'll do it because even the Left won't buck Obama under any circumstances. Besides, in exchange for extending the Bush-era tax rates, which top out at 35 percent for so-called wealthy Americans, Obama secured a 13-month extension in unemployment benefits as part of the deal he cut with Republicans.
With roughly 10 percent of the workforce in the country out of work, it seems reasonable to continue paying unemployment benefits. However, it's worth reflecting upon the argument that if the government continues to pay people for not working, the unemployed will not put forth a concerted effort to find a job or take one (for less money) that's been offered to them. Still, does anyone really want to be responsible for cutting off someone's unemployment benefits at Christmas?
It was almost laughable to watch the debate over extending the Bush-era tax rates unfold over the past few days. Laughable because of the bickering about deficits and cradling to the so-called rich and whatnots.
Laughable as well because lost in the shuffle was any meaningful discussion about reining in the federal government's biggest problem—that being its insistence on taking other people's money and spending it.