Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taxes and Barack Obama

Our anger at Obama must not blind us to one fact: Raising the tax rate on millionaires, as he has proposed, is a good thing. Of course, he has made the proposal at a time when there is no chance Congress would approve of such a scheme, and he has hinted at a quid pro quo in which Medicare would be on the table. Which would be a bad thing.

So we should see this move as politics. Nothing really wrong with that: Barack Obama is a politician, after all, and our national conversation could use a few words favoring sanity. Obama is striking a pose: He wants to be seen as the guy who would raise taxes on millionaires while lowering payroll taxes. This forces the Republicans to defend the reverse position. They are doing that, of course, by screaming "class warfare." Well, that's about as novel as opening a chess game by moving the king's pawn.

We are supposed to believe that it was not class warfare for Bush to lower taxes on the wealthy, and that it is not class warfare to raise taxes on the working class, a position advocated by virtually all Republicans.

Will the "Buffet bluff" help Obama? I don't think so. He no longer possesses the media infrastructure to shape the narrative.

Most working Americans still don't know that the Republicans want to raise their taxes -- in fact, most Americans stupidly have the opposite idea, even though the Republicans have made no secret of their position. Instead, the Republicans will blare the message: "Obama wants to raise taxes" -- and that's the message that will sink in, even though Obama isn't talking about raising your taxes; he's talking about raising their taxes.

From a political perspective, this would be a good play if the Dems had the media on their side. But they don't.

From a practical perspective, or a policy perspective -- nope. The vampires have recast themselves as "job creators," and a new tax on bloodsuckers simply won't happen. Should happen, but won't. Early on, back when he had the love, Obama might have pulled off a trick like this. Now, he's just posturing to please the base.
Will the "Buffet bluff" help Obama? I don't think so. He no longer possesses the media infrastructure to shape the narrative.

Reminds me of what Ted Turner once had in his hands.
One can imagine where we would be if Obama only had some of Hillary's political savvy and drive. Or if his handlers had a clue.
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