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March 03, 2010


It's no insult to say that Obama, in his first year, doesn't have the political skills of perhaps the two most skillful politicians of the 20th century. A more telling comparison is George W. Bush, who got tax reform, No Child Left Behind, and prescription drug coverage in Medicare without anything like Obama's majorities. And, later, when Iraq was widely hated by most Americans, he nevertheless got Congressional approval for the surge.

I think Obama is hampered by having inept leaders of the House and Senate. Reid can't even get re-elected in his own state. Pelosi is a skillful politician, but sure doesn't give the appearance of being a stateman.

FDR was so powerful that he couldn't stop Deposit Insurance, even though he opposed it. I think that the Congress then had a lot more members who were fine with passing a compromise bill that wasn't perfect.

A more telling comparison is George W. Bush, who got tax reform...

Why do conservatives have this fantasy that cutting taxes is hard to do? Cutting taxes is easy. On a base level any politician would be happy to zero out the taxes his constituents pay. This is true for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, you name it. Obama, like Bush, has had no problem getting bipartisan majorities to cut taxes.

Figuring out how to pay the bills afterwards is the hard part and is the main reason we've racked up trillions in debt since Bush first got his tax cuts enacted.

Bush's tax rate cuts led to the collection of more tax dollars, just as Reagan's and JFK's did. So, they actually reduced the deficit. The biggest cause of the current deficits is trillions of increased spending from the Democratic Congress during Bush's 2nd term and from the current Congress and Administration, although reduced tax receipts due to the recession are a substantial cause as well.

Tax rate cuts are superior to spending increases because of the issue Jinchi raised: Figuring out how to pay bills afterwards

Paying bills afterwards is easy, if the problem was a tax cut. Congress can just raise taxes back to where they were. However, paying bills afterwards is extremely difficult if the problem was a spending increase. Those who are getting government largesse don't want to give it up. And, raising taxes above rates that are already high will meet resistance and might cause a recession. That's why Obama's 10 year budget shows perpetual trillion dollar deficits.

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