There were policies in the president’s State of the Union address that I liked: We should lead on Ebola and on pandemics, we should invest more (and more responsibly) in infrastructure, we should expand research, we should expand the space program.
More specifically, there were tax proposals I like: We should expand the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers.
But on balance, the president’s SOTU tax plan is quite bad, as I write in my reaction column, out this morning.
The worst part of the plan is what’s missing from it. For months and months Washington’s corridors —- powerful and not —- have been buzzing with talk of real corporate tax reform. This was one of the three things —- along with trade authority and infrastructure — that the president and Congress could get done. We have been told over and over again that the president will work with congressional Republicans.
And…nothing. All sound and fury.
The plan is bad economics. And the political message is clear: The president is not interested in working with Republicans on taxes. His definition of compromise — I will work with Republicans when they agree with me and will not when they don’t — has always been lacking. But the absence of a corporate rate reduction and the presence of capital income rate increases suggests that even under his own definition the president isn’t interested in compromise.