Obama vs. Obama At CEO Meeting Pushing Bush/Corporate Tax Cuts

by: David Sirota

Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 13:30


In a single statement before his meeting with corporate CEOs this morning, President Obama contradicted his own tortured message pushing the Bush tax cuts. Check this out:

I am absolutely convinced that this tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector...

This morning, I hope to elicit ideas from these business leaders that will help us not only climb out of recession, but seize the promise of this moment -- ideas about tax reform; ideas about a balanced approach to regulation that will promote, rather than undermine, growth; ideas that will help encourage businesses to invest in America and American jobs at a time when they're holding nearly $2 trillion on their books.

In an interview last week with National Public Radio, of course, Obama admitted that the Bush tax cuts wouldn't create a single job. Well, you say, Obama's statement today isn't only referring to Bush's income tax cuts - he's referring to the whole package of tax cuts, including the so-called "accelerated depreciation" tax cuts for businesses. And that's where today's contradiction is most acute.

How can the president say that those kind of tax cuts will "create jobs in the private sector" when he also admits that corporations "are holding nearly $2 trillion on their books?" This makes no sense. If corporations are flush with cash, then additional cash in the form of tax cuts isn't going to prompt them to do anything other than what they're already doing - namely, hoarding cash and offshoring jobs to cheaper labor markets. As Paul Krugman recently wrote, these kids of tax cuts will "do hardly anything to spur investment given the excess capacity businesses already have."

In his statement, the president insisted that "for me, the most important question about an economic idea is not whether it's good short-term politics or meets somebody's litmus test - it's whether it will help spur businesses, jobs and growth." Clearly, the opposite is true, for if he was thinking about economics rather than "short term politics," he'd realize his own contradictory rationales were a sign that this tax cut package is all about expediency and padding corporate profits and nothing about growing our economy.

And if you believe its a coincidence that he's pushing Bush income-tax cuts and corporate tax cuts just before a meeting with the very corporate CEOs who will most benefits, then I've got some real estate to sell you...

David Sirota :: Obama vs. Obama At CEO Meeting Pushing Bush/Corporate Tax Cuts

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This particular photo-op reminds me of Mussolini's Industrial Council.. (4.00 / 2)
... for some reason.

I'm sure the Democratic Base will be awfully pleased at this particular dog and pony show.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


Let's only hope that eventually the people (0.00 / 0)
will support these people the same way they did Mussolini. :)

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
Possibly. But just remember what Italy had to go through to get to that point. (0.00 / 0)


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
You really think we aren't going that direction? (0.00 / 0)
I guess we can HOPE the road changes.  :)

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
Mostly I was referring to what people have to go through to get to a certain moment in history. (4.00 / 1)
Italy is but one example. Mussolini, of course, was strung up by partisans whose comrades had been ruthlessly persecuted for two decades. Part of the public upset with Mussolini had to do with the fact that 250,000 Italians had just been massacred by Soviet and Nazi forces in Eastern Europe as well. And Mussolini's lack of protection was only possible because both the Italian and German militaries had been defeated in the field by Allied forces. So it was a long and bloody road to Il Duce's terminus.

As far as our own situation is concerned, we're governed by an authoritarian regime that puts a state of Permanent Warfare ahead of the National and Public Interests. So yes, it's not out of the question that we might see a World War III in the next decade or so, since we're now the world's biggest aggressor by far and that's always a role with a limited shelf-life attached to it. It's also a war we can't possibly win because we're already broke from the trillions wasted in Iraq, Afghanistan and other exotic locales. Indeed, it's all these wars that are directly causing our economic malaise. That very same malaise which is destroying civil society.

So what will it take for Americans to find some sense of the future and demand positive change with a new regime? I don't know, but it seems fair to say they'll be willing to suffer a great deal in the interim. Indeed, the first round of conflict will almost certainly come from the gun-toting nutters on the right, since they're better prepared for it and have wanted Civil War 2.0 for a couple decades now. They also enjoy at least partial backing from the ruling elites, since they always manage to look the other way when it comes to that crowd.

Basically, I don't know which direction we're really headed in, but chances are we're going to live up to George Carlin's observation,

"Where ideas are concerned, America can be counted on to do one of two things: take a good idea and run it completely into the ground, or take a bad idea and run it completely into the ground."


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
David, I think we all understand and have for sometime everything you said (4.00 / 1)
I think the issue is whether or not we will "man up."  Do we go down this road of doing the same thing over and hoping for a better outcome.  Or do we change what we do next time we have a choice.  I spent this morning listening as your fellow talk show host Thom Hartmann spend three hours explaining how he had been wrong and Obama was right.  (actually I left after two hours) The polls say so!  So we better get in line and follow the piper.

Yeah.  Do that and I gotta bridge to sell youse!

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


The Tone Says it All (4.00 / 3)
If I were President in this sort of situation, I absolutely would not kowtow to any interest, even ones that agreed with me. Obama sounds way too conciliatory towards this particular group. They'll eat him for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He sounds like a wuss with no moral compass.

For one, businesses have perfectly good reasons to sit on $2 trillion dollars cash: there are no customers. They'd be insane to spend that money on jobs. They're not charities.

Indeed, it's up to the government to take that money directly (say, a tax) and spend it on jobs creation OR let the businesses sit on their money but deficit spend to create jobs and trust that a growing economy will cause businesses to spend their hoard (which is precisely what will happen). The fact Obama does neither tells you all you need to know about his competence and values.


The poblem is not "no customers" (0.00 / 0)
The issue is that it's cheaper to produce overseas and sell here. The jobs went with the factories, but instead of us fighting to get back the factories, we pretend that there is some other kind of economy besides a productive one.
The elite once again have sold the public that's it's their fault for not being good customers, when these are the millions of customers they fired. Blame the victim.
Ther eare many new customers - overseas - and that's where the USA factories are being built.

[ Parent ]
re: thieves meeting (0.00 / 0)
This morning, I hope to elicit ideas from these business leaders

when I first read the 'leaders' part I became so furious. then I thought that's the same leadership obama provides. he's pretty familiar...


Talk is cheap and Obama's is worthless (4.00 / 1)
The President knows that the trillions on the sideline are just waiting for more investment in Mexico, China, Russia, Brazil and India.
The accelerated depreciation will only allow corps to buy more machinery and robots to replace American workers, and will eliminate jobs, not add them.
The employment in this country is determined by the need of the employers. As that need is fulfilled by outsourcing and sending factories overseas and bringing in foreign workers, the job picture for Americans is permanently changed for the worse.
Unless we revise trade and outsourcing policies, we will always have 15% or more REAL unemployment, plus the effect of all the hopeless job seekers pushing down wages for those already employed.
The victims, the workers, seem blind to this, but you can be sure Barack's CEO buddies realize and endorse exactly what's happening.

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