Obama Details Economic Plan

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He’ll be accused of offering the typical Democratic tax and spend plans, but with the housing market tanking because of free market loopholes and the prices of basic goods skyrocketing due in part of out of control war spending, I’m thinking the middle class would appreciate some fiscal attention refocused on their needs.

From the AP:

Speaking to about 200 people in Wayne, a Philadelphia suburb, Obama made no new proposals but emphasized earlier ones in light of rising gas prices, inflation and job losses. They include a $1,000 tax cut for most working families; a new Social Security tax on incomes above $250,000; a “windfall profits” tax on oil companies; a $4,000 annual college tuition credit for those who commit to national or community service programs; and an end to income taxes for elderly people making less than $50,000 a year.

Where would he get the money? Well, first he’d roll back the tax levels for the wealthy to about where they were during the Clinton years. And then there’s Iraq. The quicker we get out of there, the quicker we can refocus some of those dollars elsewhere.

And then there are savings due to investments in alternative energy…

He also vowed to spend $150 billion over 10 years to establish a “green energy sector.” It would require greater fuel efficiency in cars and devote more money to solar, wind, and biodiesel energy.

Personally, I wish we’d spend the amount we poured into Iraq ($600 billion and counting) on green energy innovations alone. This IS the next space race, and the quicker we can realize an oil-free society, the quicker we’ll see an end to this “war” we currently find ourselves in. Because while I know it’s not important to many who support the war, at least we’d see a type of return on green investments, as opposed to the big fat question mark we’re getting out of Iraq.

So what do you think? Good plan? Bad plan? Don’t care either way?

And, if you had to do it differently, what would your economic plan look like?

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    I don’t have a problem with taxing the rich, but i’d add in making the cap gains tax higher on the rich and lower on the poor and middle class, and adding in a consumpton tax on luxury goods, and instead of creating a donut social security tax I would overhaul Medicare and SS so they were more efficient and cheaper, then only tax the rich on those programs. That way a lot of money would be freed up for the middle class to spend, spending that would jumpstart the economy. The I would cut defense and pull us out of Iraq, and take the tax on windfall oil profits and begin the construiction of wind and Solar farms across the country and offshore, and offer tax credits to any car company that produced Electric cars for sale, basically I would mandate that by 2018, 90% of our energy needs would be covered by Solar, Wind, Geothermal and hydro power sources

  • Dr. Saturn

    Don’t mean to get overly technical or anything, but… they’re “so-called ‘free-trade agreement’ loopholes”, not free market loopholes. In a true free market there’d be nothing to tie loopholes around. Don’t blame the free market for the incompetence of our representatives who think NAFTA is anything other than managed trade.

  • Tully

    *Where would he get the money?*

    He wouldn’t. Despite the popularity of “eat the rich” tax plans, there’s not enough rich to go around and they’re remarkably adept at avoiding paying taxes when they get raised. Raise them high enough, and your rich move their money to where you can’t get it. As do multi-national corporations. It’s called “capital flight” and it’s not remotely imaginary. France got hit hard with it in the last decade. It’s estimated that France’s wealth tax costs it five times as much in capital flight as it makes in government revenue.

    And to repeat the obvious for the bazillionth time, the President is not who sets tax rates in the United States, nor who sets spending. Congress does. If Congress does not restrain spending, it will matter little what tax policies they pass. Neither party has shown much spine when it comes to restraining spending, the only question anymore is how UNrestrained they will be.

  • gerryf

    I don’t want to eat the rich–too much fat and gristle.

    I’m tired of lower tax on the rich and spend Republicans, though. The Bush tax cuts were never promised to be permanent…there is a reason they were temporary.

    How about we stop lowering taxes, let the tax cuts for the rich expire (as promised), pull out of Iraq which is being mostly financed by borrowing, institute paygo (no new programs without new money or shifting money from somewhere else and cutting programs), investing in infrastructure which creates jobs and wealth, crank up tariffs on foreign goods and compel foreign companies that want to do business in the US into manufacturing in the US.

    And Tully, for the “billionth time,” what country are you living in? Stop working off your 11th grade civics class lesson plan and get with the program.

    Since 1920, the Budgeting and Accounting Act laid the foundation for the modern budgeting process. Since then, the PRESIDENT submits a budget to congress, and since 1974, the process has become even more ingrained.

    While I will grant you that congress is not bound by the budget submitted by the PRESIDENT, it has for almost 100 years been the starting point for the budget. Congress fiddles with it some, but it has historically followed the president’s lead–indeed, they must follow it within reason as the President hold veto power.

    Yes, Congress has the power of the purse, but the President sets the tone and base for the budget (basically, he puts the money in the purse and keeps his hand inside it). You blame congress for spending, but Bush as never presented a balanced budget in his two terms, instead, projecting ridiculous numbers, spending “off budget” for the war, and then saying his economic plan will balance the budget 4 years after he’s left office.

  • Mudslide

    Why is it that someone who toils for a living pays a higher tax rate than someone who sits on his ass while his money does all the work? Capital gains should be taxed as regular income. In that way someone who makes a million a year will be taxed at a higher rate than a middle class family who has managed to save a few dollars in the stock market.

    Supply-side economics doesn’t work, period. It has been refuted both after Ronald Reagan and now again after George W. All it’s managed to do is transfer our children’s money to the very rich of today. If you want a truly non-biased tax plan take the current tax rates and adjust them for inflation. Then all taxpayers will receive the same tax cut. The problem is we are now 9.5 trillion dollars in debt. We have had to sell off US land and assets to help fund this debt. The rich who’ve benefitted the most from George Bush’s tax cuts need to contribute more to pay down this debt.

  • Tully

    *the President sets the tone and base for the budget*

    Ah yes, the “Svengali” theory of the budget process, wherein the superior psychic powers of the executive force Congress into abandoning their power and rolling over on command.

    Better go review your own civics knowledge or lack thereof, gerryf. The budget comes from congressional action regardless of WH requests–the WH can beg, veto, or sign. That’s about it. Nor does the WH set tax rates. Congress does. What part of that did you miss? At what point did Congress cede any single ounce of power in that regard? (Answer: never–the WH must persuade, they cannot ordain.)

    Paygo amuses me as well-unless there is real spending discipline, it’s just a sidestep method of mandating perpetual tax increases while disclaiming responsibility for them. Neither party has shown any spine at restraining spending. Indeed, they’ve both managed to make drunken sailors look penurious.