Republican criticism of the president’s gargantuan budget — most of it justified — is apparently getting to the administration.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “vigorously defended” the record $3.6 trillion spending plan, The Associated Press reports, including the billions and billions in higher taxes it would levy.
The higher taxes will only affect the wealthy, Mr. Geithner argued, and won’t kick in until 2011, when the country will be “safely into recovery.”
The global warming tax the administration proposes for U.S. companies will result in higher energy costs for all consumers and businesses, not just the rich.
And even if we are to believe the administration’s rosy economic projections, is it wise to raise taxes on well-off individuals who invest and create jobs at a time when the economy finally shows signs of life?
Besides, Mr. Geithner surely understands that “wealthy” individuals may modify their behavior right now upon notice that the government plans to further raid their paychecks starting in a year or two.
Mr. Geithner made a telling slip when he told the House Ways and Means Committee that the budget reflects what the president views as “a deep moral imperative to make society more just.” In other words, this is not just about economic recovery, it’s about pursuing left-wing social policy through the confiscation and redistribution of wealth.
Meantime, the president on Tuesday downplayed the market reaction to his proposals, as stocks are now at a 12-year low.
“The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day-to-day,” Mr. Obama said. “And if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”
Apparently “bobs up and down” means “in a free fall” to Mr. Obama. And if the stock market is “like a tracking poll in politics,” then Mr. Obama had better start taking its dismal message more seriously.