On President Obama’s proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000:
I think this is a declaration by Obama — the fact that he has now pivoted back to this old issue that he has been touting for at least four years — it’s a declaration that he surrendered on the state of the economy and on the issue of his stewardship of it. This is a white flag. There is no way he can defend it.
When the numbers came out last Friday about the June employment numbers, which followed the [weak] one from May — the second quarter was the worst for employment in two years. This is supposed to be the time in a recovery when the numbers are really accelerating upwards, and they are in retreat or flat. So he knows this is over. And there is no way — if the numbers are like this now — there will be any substantive difference between now and Election Day. So that is not an issue he even wants to talk about.
So what he is doing is trying to shift subjects and to say: Look at the shiny object over here, and that is the fairness/equity issue. And that is what he wants to run on, at least to try to debate and make that the centerpiece, because, again, he can’t run on economic stewardship.
There isn’t even a pretense — he tries it, but there’s nobody that takes it seriously — [that] this taking from the rich with this tax increase for the upper income is going to do anything for employment, for growth, for lowering joblessness. It’s simply a matter of government taking from the rich and then Obama and the central government takes the money — some of it gets sprinkled on Solyndra, crony capitalism, high-speed train on the west coast that goes nowhere — and some of it will trickle down to the rest of us. That is the program.
And it fits in his [overall] strategy because it fits with the negative attacks on Romney. The whole idea is: Romney is a rich guy that doesn’t care; I’m a guy who cares about equity, fairness, and the future of the middle class. That is how it works. It’s the slight positive side of the astonishingly negative attacks on Romney — 50,000 of them in June.
But it’s a surrender on economic issues as a whole, on macroeconomics.