Gross: Fixing 'Cliff' Will Mean 'High, Higher' Taxes
Clinton was chastened by his midterm losses. Counseled by political consultant Dick Morris, Clinton tacked to the center, eventually accepting welfare reform and apologizing for raising taxes on job creators and investors. Clinton backed free trade. At the end of his first term, he declared that, “the era of big government is over.” Clinton’s cuts in military spending and the dotcom boom buoyed the economy and poured in revenues that reduced government debt.
By contrast, following his midterm “shellacking” in the 2010 elections, Obama has been an “anti-Clinton.” Obama has doubled down on his commitments to: raise taxes on business and investing success; increase government’s size, spending and regulatory reach; and create roadblocks for the abundant fossil fuel extraction and pipelining that could produce a boom in American jobs and new business expansion.
Yes, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy. But with arm-twisting from Republicans, Clinton also cut capital gains taxes. He reduced government spending as a share of GDP to 19.5 percent when he left office (under Obama it is 24 percent), and was way friendlier to businesses than Obama. Obama wants to raise business investment taxes and, according to The Wall Street Journal, has “already raised investment tax rates by 3.8 percentage points as part of ObamaCare.”
Obama’s un-Clinton-like hostility to small businesses and investors has these groups sitting on trillions of dollars in their assets and has caused the worst recovery from a recession in 70 years.
A recent poll finds that 69 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say that, “President Obama’s Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.” Further, 67 percent say “there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.” And, 55 percent say, “they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.”
For Barack Obama to govern like Bill Clinton in a second term, Obama would have to undergo an ideological and personality transformation. Political reinvention, negotiation and “triangulation” are Clinton’s forte—not Obama’s.
Are you willing to bet the next four years—and the future of your children, grandchildren and country—on Obama not being Obama and, magically, becoming Bill Clinton at his best, rather than his worst?