Monday, September 6, 2010

Giving With One Hand -- Taking With The Other

President Obama has finally decided on the details of his business stimulus program.

The business proposal - what one aide called a key part of a limited economic package - would increase and permanently extend research and development tax credits for businesses, rewarding companies that develop new technologies domestically and preserve American jobs.

It would be paid for by closing other corporate tax loopholes, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the policy has not yet been unveiled.

He just cannot bring himself to propose a net reduction in taxes. And let's remember that tax "loopholes" are exceptions to tax regulations that were placed in the code expressly to support desired economic goals. So, he will lower taxes on one business activity he approves of and raise taxes on others he doesn't. Net effect -- zero or less.

[UPDATE:] Later today, further details were forthcoming. Obama also wants $50 billion for infrastructure improvement.

President Obama Monday called for an upfront investment of $50 billion to improve roads, railways and runways as part of a larger six-year strategy to update the nation’s aging infrastructure.

Obama announced the strategy at the Milwaukee Laborfest in Wisconsin hosted by the AFL-CIO and Milwaukee Area Labor Council and was joined by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The president wants Congress to approve this first-year $50 billion “as soon as possible” and pay for it by scaling back oil and gas industry tax incentives, a senior administration official said.

He's true to form if nothing else. He just can't bear to propose a net tax break, so, of course, the infrastructure work must be "paid for" by increasing someone else's taxes. Hey, why not make the evil oil industry pay for it? Nobody likes them.

This isn't a jobs-creation bill, it's -- at best -- a jobs transfer scheme. Cut employment in the wealth-creating energy sector to increase employment in the unionized-wealth-consuming construction industry.

If the union thugs he spoke in front of were capable of rational thought, they'd see this jobs-killing proposal for what it is. After all, there are a lot of good union jobs in Big Oil, though not so many in Milwaukee where he spoke.

And so it goes.

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