Our president just spoke to the nation in his radio address demanding Congress passes his bill. It is so sad that there is not in our nation a discussion on first principles, just political demands on both sides. What is interesting to me is that we are asked to “compromise” and that compromise is always to add more power to government, but not as much as demanded first. Little by little, government power increases. Look at what the president asked Republicans who said they will not pass it:

“Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools? Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?”

You can see here an emotional appeal that presents the opposition against givoing jobs to people. No discussion on why some think government-initiated economic activity is not only unconstitutional but ineffective. By tying massive increases in spending to short-term insignificant tax incentives (not tax cuts as tax cuts occur only with changes in rates) he thinks he corners the opposition: if they say I want the tax cuts only he can say they are only for the “rich” and against poor people getting jobs.

Again, no discussion on the clear failure of his system of thought. He gave us a $900 billion stimulus bill and 2 budgets spending more than resources. But he kept, temporarily, the Bush tax cuts. What happened? Failure. Now we are told that $447 billion and some (temporary again) tax incentives are needed. Why?  Where is the objective evidence of success in such scheme? Nowhere. Again, economic thinking is clear that short-term tax stimulus does not work as business cannot move ahead with short-term solutions. What short-term gimmicks incentivize is not additional economic activity but hoarding. “I will get as much as I can now before they change this.”

But what bothers me to no end from Obama is the following:

Echoing arguments he’s made since introducing the plan, the president said Washington should rise above politics and do what’s right for the American people, which — in his view — is passing the bill.

In other words, he is beyond the political game, just doing what is right. The Republicans are the ones playing politics. This implies there is no need to challenge the economic assumptions underneath his specific proposal. If we do, we are against what is right. They are bad guys playing politics, I am the good guy waiging a war for you, little people.

We can see clearly that Obama knows how to play politics while pretending not to and how the word “compromise” can fool so many. But, if you think about it, Obama had 2 years of totral control over the two branches and passed everything he wanted to pass; at times with little debate, in a matter of hours. It is time for him and his party to change course. He must compromise by passing, as is, a Republican proposal. Every time Republicans have done so, the Senate has called these “dead on arrival” and ignored them. Who is not being reasonable.

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