Does Obama really think that he can keep saying the opposite of what he actually does?

From the White House Transcript:

"Now, I am also ready to work with Democrats and Republicans to reform our entire tax code, to get rid of the decades of accumulated loopholes, special interest carve-outs, and other tax expenditures that stack the deck against small business owners and ordinary families who can’t afford Washington lobbyists or fancy accountants. Our tax code is more than 10,000 pages long. If you stack up all the volumes, they’re almost five feet tall. That means that how much you pay often depends less on what you make and more on how well you can game the system, and that's especially true of the corporate tax code.

We’ve got one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but it’s riddled with exceptions and special interest loopholes. So some companies get out paying a lot of taxes, while the rest of them end up having to foot the bill. And this makes our entire economy less competitive and our country a less desirable place to do business."

--President Obama, September 19, 2011

I don't disagree with these goals. Yet, President Obama has done more than almost anyone else to make the tax code more complicated and a lobbyist play ground. Just take the Small Business Jobs Bill passed last year. Here is what I wrote about it then.

Both the loans and the tax cuts micro-manage how companies should be run. Take the "bonus depreciation," which provides a 50 percent first year depreciation. Among the lucky assets that are eligible: "Single purpose agricultural (livestock) or horticultural structures," "Storage facilities (except buildings and their structural components) used in connection with distributing petroleum or any primary product of petroleum." "sewage disposal services," and "off-the-self computer software."

What brilliant Obama administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders decided that if you build an agricultural building that does just one purpose, you get a deduction. If it does two or more things, you are out of luck. So a farmer who would have built one building will now build two buildings so that they can get the huge depreciation. What sense does that make? Or that you can quickly write-off certain types of computer software and not others. Why does "sewage disposal services" deserve such special treatment?

The loans are no different. The Obama administration and Democrats are picking what type of firms will get loans and what they can get loans for. "Brick and mortar" operations get a loan "to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization." Why are those particular operations singled out in the CDC/504 loan program? Why can't those loans be used to for marketing? Similarly, if you export certain products, you can get a special loan.

See also this discussion by Krauthammer.

Charles Krauthammer: "First of all, it's about targeting tax cuts. This is how liberals operate. You raise the rates across the board and then the government will deign to return some of the money on a targeted tax cut, meaning if you do exactly as they say. Which means, for example, if they favor, say, high-tech investment and they'll give you a cut in capital gains, and you have a business in which you don't need that, but you need to spend on marketing, the government thinks it knows how to redirect your capital in a superior way. It's a classic liberal way to operate whereas Republicans want lower rates across the board and eliminate the targeting of tax cuts as you had in the '86 tax bill, the Reagan-Bradley bill."

See my Fox News piece on the Small Business Jobs bill available here.
Nor are these claims something new as even during the 2008 presidential campaign Obama's changes were to make the tax system more expensive (see this piece). The original Stimulus also made the tax system more complicated.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home