Debate Club

Americans Will See Through Obama's Sleight of Hand on Tax Policy

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It's not about jobs, but taxes on the rich. It's not about a sluggish GDP, but ruthless outsourcing. It's not about the private sector's weakness, but private equity's rapaciousness. It's not about the devastation in the housing market, but the bounty in healthcare insurance.

Confused? You're supposed to be.

Politicians run on what they can, not necessarily what they want. President Barack Obama is no different. The many assurances he received early on from his economic advisers and fellow Democratic officeholders that the public would be supportive of the healthcare reform legislation and the economy would be booming by the time his re-election rolled around have proved false.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Fifty-four percent of Americans in the latest Washington Post/ABC News Poll disapprove of Obama's handling on the economy, and according to Gallup, more Americans say the 2010 healthcare law "will hurt the national economy (46 percent) rather than help it (37 percent)." Not only have three recovery summers melted away like ice cream on hot asphalt (i.e., unemployment remains above 8 percent and GDP has hovered around 2 percent), but what is worse is that "56 percent of likely voters believe Obama's first term has transformed the nation in a negative way."

It's no wonder that Obama's campaign is trying to play a game of three-card monty.

Obama's latest taxes backtrack (this was his position prior to the compromise struck during the "lame duck" congressional session in 2010) will only help his prospects if Americans decide to believe his campaign's spin that the 2012 election isn't about Obama's presidency, but about George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

While the jury is out on whether Americans will again take a bet on Obama, history doesn't look good. Only one of four modern incumbent presidents in similar circumstances (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush) has managed to pull off this kind of sleight of hand. And that president, George W. Bush, did it on issues related to foreign policy, not the economy.

Even though Obama's campaign is trying every trick in the book, it's tough not to notice that even David Copperfield would have trouble with this economic illusion.

Lara Brown

About Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'

Tags
Obama, Barack
2012 presidential election

Other Arguments

#1
89 Pts
Democrats Pull Away From Obama on Bush Tax Cuts

No – Democrats Pull Away From Obama on Bush Tax Cuts

Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst

#2
54 Pts
Limiting Bush-era Tax Cuts Harms Small Business

No – Limiting Bush-era Tax Cuts Harms Small Business

Stephanie Slade Project Director at The Winston Group, a Political Strategy Company

#4
-1 Pts
President's Tax Plan Protects 98 Percent of Americans

Yes – President's Tax Plan Protects 98 Percent of Americans

Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research, a Polling and Consulting firm

#5
-10 Pts
Barack Obama Is Using Tax Cuts to Target Mitt Romney's Wealth

No – Barack Obama Is Using Tax Cuts to Target Mitt Romney's Wealth

Matt Mackowiak Republican Consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group

#6
-12 Pts
Americans Favor Extending Tax Cuts for Those Making Under $250,000

Yes – Americans Favor Extending Tax Cuts for Those Making Under $250,000

Penny Lee President of Venn Strategies, a Government Relations and Public Affairs firm

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