Obama’s Famous Tax ‘Victory’

Top marginal income tax rates may go up. But the president’s second-term spending wish list will be history.

Kimberley A. Strassel
The Wall Street Journal

To read the current fiscal-cliff coverage, President Obama holds the upper hand and is poised for the “victory” of winning an increase in the top two tax rates.

So successful has the White House been in defining this fight, few have stopped to consider how paltry that victory is likely to be. For a short-term win on this ideological issue, President Obama may well cede most everything else.

Let us assume that Mr. Obama is correct in his bet that the GOP will prove more responsible than he is and won’t cliff-dive. The president’s recent baiting of Republicans—his unreasonable offers, his public campaign to belittle them, his refusal to negotiate—has not put them in a generous mood. If Republicans have to fold on the top tax rates, it’s a decent bet they will do only that—and nothing more…

…Republicans will make clear they sent that bill under duress—that they wanted to extend tax rates for everyone—and that Mr. Obama is responsible for the consequences. The president claims that raising taxes on job creators won’t hurt the economy. Fine, but if he’s wrong, he alone owns it. There will be no GOP fingerprints on this…

Read the complete article at The Wall Street Journal.

RelatedStrassel: This Unserious White House

Opinion: Peter Schiff: The Fantasy of a 91% Top Income Tax Rate

…It is a testament to the shallow nature of the national economic conversation that higher tax rates can be justified by reference to a fantasy—a 91% marginal rate that hardly any top earners paid.

In reality, tax policies that diminish the incentives and capacities of innovators, business owners and investors will not spur economic improvement. Such policies will, however, satisfy the instincts of those who want to “stick it to the rich.” Never mind that the rich have already been stuck fairly well.


Comments are closed.