Will the nation's new economic royalists step forward, rope in hand, to produce enough economic activity to help Mr. Obama to a second term of retribution? Maybe not. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, some 70% of manufacturing concerns in the U.S. have owners whose business is taxed at the individual rate (S corporations and the like). These are the people expected to commit capital to new hires and equipment.Obama and his advisers don't seem to have any comprehension of what goes through a businessman's thought processes before deciding to commit more money to investing in business expansion. The constant insults and promises to take more money from them as soon as they can are not going to provide the environment for such people to increase their job production. As long as the Democrats keep talking this way, they're not going to see the sort of job growth that we need to get us back to where we were just a few years ago.
But if an angry, let-me-be-clear Barack Obama just looked into the cameras and said he's coming to get you in two years, what rational economic choice would you make? Spend the profit or gains 2011 might produce on new workers, or bury any new income in the backyard until the 2012 presidential clouds clear?
No matter how much economic bump Mr. Obama gets in 2011 from extending the Bush-era tax rates, the 2012 election will be fought over a deep national anxiety that he rightly identifies but misinterprets.
The 1936 Democrats argue that America can't be strong again until what they identify as "2% of taxpayers" are dragged from their homes and punished. It's a stirring tale that is irrelevant to the immediate needs of a United States hat has to compete in a global economy of intense and volatile competition.
In such a high-stakes world, Barack Obama's obsession with having it out over the tax tables is a vulnerability. His opponent in 2012 should run straight at it.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
President Obama is in the habit of demonizing all those rich people whose money he truly wanted to tax more, but had to give up on in the deal that he just concluded with the Republicans. He has campaigned against the "wealthiest Americans" as millionaires and billionaires since he entered into politics. But, as Daniel Henninger tries to explain to the economically oblivious on the left, these are the very people whose business sense is going to provide the base for any economic recovery. And the constant demonizing of that class while promising to come after them as soon as possible isn't going to get them to get out there and invest in the economy.