American Elephants

Obama Can’t Fix the Economy By Raising Your Taxes. by The Elephant's Child

Taxes due tomorrow.  Even those stubborn souls who don’t want to give the federal government even a penny before they have to, have to pay up by tomorrow. We got a couple of days of grace because the 15th came on a weekend. Many trot off with their stack of stuff to the tax preparer early on, so that they might get their refund sooner.

No one should have to go to a tax preparer. Taxes should not be that complicated. Enter the figures on line 14 on line 24. Enter the total from line 16 on line 25. Subtract line 25 from line 24. Enter 1/2 of the number on line 14 on line 26. If the amount on line s6 is less than the amount on line 24, enter the smaller number on line 27. And then it turns out to be the very number you had in the first place. Do you ever suspect there is some dissident in the IRS playing games with your mind?

For those who do not prepare their own tax return, the amount of the refund becomes the primary number. I suspect that many look forward to their refund as sort of a gift from the government. Not so. However big it is, the government has had your money to play around with—for free— for that many months, while inflation diminished its value and you got no interest.

No fewer than 41 of Obama’s White House aides owe back taxes to the IRS, adding up to $831,000.  As well, 538 Congressional staffers owe another $9.3 million.  Altogether, federal employees owe $1  billion. And there are still a lot of dollars with  “tax cheat” stamped over Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s name in circulation.

Obama has at least admitted that “the Buffett Rule,” that he is so tirelessly promoting, won’t do anything to raise money for the Treasury. Fully implemented, it just does not garner enough money to make a dent in the deficit. Mr. Buffett probably pays his taxes in full, but his company, Berkshire Hathaway, is in the midst of a long-running battle with the IRS. Experts say Berkshire Hathaway may owe an additional $1 billion. While warren Buffet claims that the rich aren’t paying their fair share in taxes, his own company has been fighting vigorously to avoid paying their own tax bills.

Law Professor William Jacobson reminds us that the recession which started under George W. Bush ended in June 2009. The National Bureau of Economic Research which decides start and end dates of a recession, determined that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.  Since that date, it has all been Obama’s.

  The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007. The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date.

This means two things.

First, Obama’s economic policies had nothing to do with the end of the Bush recession, since the recession ended 5 months after Obama took office and before any of his policies, including the February 2009 Stimulus Bil, had come into effect.  So Obama gets zero credit for the end of the Bush  Great Recession.

Second, Obama owns the failed recovery from the recession.  It took place entirely on his watch, and during a time period when Obama’s policies and threatened policies were a factor.

The U.S. has generated 3 million jobs since the trough of the recession in September 2010, but it had lost 8 million since the start. The real labor force, those of the right age to be in the work force, has grown by 4.6 million in the same period, because America keeps growing. This means that the Obama administration as created a negative 1.6 million jobs, which in turn have cost the US. another $5.1 trillion in new debt. It didn’t have to be this way.

As you can see from the chart, we have a history of dealing with recessions, and some ideas have worked better than others.  Even Christina Romer wrote an important paper with her husband explaining what worked to bring us out of recessions and what didn’t. Somebody wasn’t listening.

Remember in November.  Looks like David Axlerod’s coming out for Mitt.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You know, I used to work as a tax form complicator for the IRS…


Comment by Lon Mead

I think there might be the possibility of a great thriller there. Think what damage a mole could do to foul up the nation’s revenue. This was a particularly annoying year, I’m glad to have someone to blame it all on!


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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