Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bought and Paid For

President Obama sent his jobs bill to Congress yesterday. Whatever its chances are, the answer to the one question that many people had — how to pay for it — was included in the bill.

President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.

During a Rose Garden appearance, Obama pledged to send Congress the American Jobs Act on Monday evening when the legislative body resumes its session. Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.

Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue over 10 years, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas tax loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.

Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.

There’s the sticking point. The Republicans will never go along with closing loopholes on their corporate minders or raising the tax rates a couple of points — back to where they were during the booming years of the 1990’s — even if the bill wasn’t proposed by the Kenyan Secret Muslim Socialist Black Guy. There are priorities, you know.

First among them is to do nothing that would help the president look like he’s doing anything good for the economy. The second is to keep the tax rates low on the rich so they can spend it on campaign contributions. Actually getting the economy repaired and putting people to work? Well, that’s just an afterthought.