Say it ain't so - Obama considering tax cuts to spur job growth?

Rick Moran
Gotta be true. It's in the New York Times: (John Harwood writing in the Caucus blog )

Whatever the fate of health care legislation, persistently high unemployment has made "Where are the jobs?" the most potent Republican campaign argument as next year's midterm elections come into view.Publicly, White House aides and Congressional leaders have responded with incessant attempts to highlight benefits from the $787 billion economic stimulus package they enacted earlier this year. Privately, Mr. Obama's economic advisers are sifting options for a new package of tax cuts and other job creation measures to be unveiled in next year's State of the Union address - or earlier if pressure for action becomes irresistible.

Republicans entered the age of Obama with hope in the traditional pattern of midterm election losses by a president's party. But now unemployment trends have heightened their confidence that their political luck has turned more sharply and rapidly than most Republicans had expected.

[...]

" ‘It could have been worse' is of little utility in politics," David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's top political adviser, acknowledged.

Moreover, even Mr. Obama's economic team now concedes that unemployment, which they once hoped to keep from exceeding 8 percent, will get worse through the end of the year. One outside economist, Mark Zandi, predicts the economy will shed 750,000 more jobs over the next six months, with unemployment peaking at 10.5 percent in June.

Despite calls from liberals for a second stim package, the president is not one to commit suicide and is rejecting such a call.

That leaves tax cuts for stimulating the economy. An acknowledgment that the GOP has been right all along may spell curtains for a lot of Democrats in Congress who are feeling quite vulnerable right now.

The question isn't so much whether Obama would support targeted tax cuts to spur job growth but whether he could get the liberals in Congress to accept the obvious cure. This is doubtful, although the progressive might go for limited tax cuts with a larger increase in spending on social programs.

This would be a horrible deal so it is likely that any talk of tax cuts by this administration would be just that - empty talk. Meanwhile, 20 million Americans may be out of work by next summer. And it is not likely that the voters will be inclined to reward the president's party for that failure.

Gotta be true. It's in the New York Times: (John Harwood writing in the Caucus blog )

Whatever the fate of health care legislation, persistently high unemployment has made "Where are the jobs?" the most potent Republican campaign argument as next year's midterm elections come into view.

Publicly, White House aides and Congressional leaders have responded with incessant attempts to highlight benefits from the $787 billion economic stimulus package they enacted earlier this year. Privately, Mr. Obama's economic advisers are sifting options for a new package of tax cuts and other job creation measures to be unveiled in next year's State of the Union address - or earlier if pressure for action becomes irresistible.

Republicans entered the age of Obama with hope in the traditional pattern of midterm election losses by a president's party. But now unemployment trends have heightened their confidence that their political luck has turned more sharply and rapidly than most Republicans had expected.

[...]

" ‘It could have been worse' is of little utility in politics," David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's top political adviser, acknowledged.

Moreover, even Mr. Obama's economic team now concedes that unemployment, which they once hoped to keep from exceeding 8 percent, will get worse through the end of the year. One outside economist, Mark Zandi, predicts the economy will shed 750,000 more jobs over the next six months, with unemployment peaking at 10.5 percent in June.

Despite calls from liberals for a second stim package, the president is not one to commit suicide and is rejecting such a call.

That leaves tax cuts for stimulating the economy. An acknowledgment that the GOP has been right all along may spell curtains for a lot of Democrats in Congress who are feeling quite vulnerable right now.

The question isn't so much whether Obama would support targeted tax cuts to spur job growth but whether he could get the liberals in Congress to accept the obvious cure. This is doubtful, although the progressive might go for limited tax cuts with a larger increase in spending on social programs.

This would be a horrible deal so it is likely that any talk of tax cuts by this administration would be just that - empty talk. Meanwhile, 20 million Americans may be out of work by next summer. And it is not likely that the voters will be inclined to reward the president's party for that failure.