Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obama Wants Revenue Increases?

President Obama made an interesting comment about his purported willingness to compromise on a tax plan that involves "revenue increases" during a news conference last week:

"I am open to new ideas if the Republican counterparts or some Democrats have a great idea for us to raise revenue, maintain progressivity, make sure the middle class isn't getting hit, reduces our deficit, encourages growth. I'm not going to slam the door in their face; I want to hear ideas from everybody."

However, his prior statements suggest President Obama refuses to acknowledge the historic fact that increasing capital gains taxes decreases revenue, while decreasing it actually increases revenue.

In a 2008 primary debate against Hillary Clinton, moderator Charlie Gibson asked the following simple question:

"[I]n each instance, when the [capital gains] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, revenues went down. So, why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?"

President Obama answered with mindblowing obstinance:

Well, Charlie, what I have said is that I will look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. And you can't do that for free.

In other words, candidate Obama did not mind raising the capital gains tax for the simple reason that he found it fair—not economically intelligent (or even literate) but fair.

Well, some people want to improve the economy; others prefer to dictate their vision of "fairness" upon others, regardless of the consequences. Hopefully the President has matured beyond this juvenile stance over the past four years, but I doubt it.

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