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Apprehensive About Presidential Tax Proposals

Posted By Jim On 09/04/2008 @ 11:43 am In Government | 1 Comment

Anyone can propose anything.

As the Presidential race heats up, you’re hearing more and more about the tax proposals of both candidates [3]. There’s talk about working class relief, of taxing the rich, of helping the poor and underinsured. There are a lot of campaign promises and proposals designed to get you to vote for one candidate or another. The problem is that the President is only one of three branches of the United States Government. It has no power to legislate and before any of these promises can become a reality… they need to work with the branch that can pass laws, our fine bi-cameral Congress.

The problem is that the Democrats control both chambers of Congress and it’s a lead many experts expect to extend. That means anything proposed by a Republican President is going to face greater scrutiny and require more favors if it wants to be passed. Something proposed by a Democrat President will not face that same level of scrutiny simply because it doesn’t require bi-partisan support. I’m not saying anything McCain promises won’t happen if he’s elected or that anything Obama promises will come to fruition without incident, but the reality is crossing party lines is difficult. I’m not a political experts but that’s how it always seemed to me. (Democratic President Clinton, for the most part, achieved quite a bit working with a Republican Congress)

The best analogy would be a family with kids, where the children because they would represent the electorate. Dad could promise all these toys and trips and candy and ice cream, but unless Mom agrees… it’s not happening. The kids could decide that their Dad is the best Dad in the world because he promises toys and trips and candy and ice cream but if Mom is firmly anti-candy, Dad is going to have a tough time getting it. It also doesn’t help if the price of candy and ice cream has skyrocketed and Mommy’s Ex-husband racked up a huge credit card debt.

Speaking of debt and deficits, as if we need more headwinds, it will be difficult and dangerous to pass any tax cuts that are not revenue neutral (that is, aren’t offset by decreased spending elsewhere) because we can’t afford to dig our hole any deeper.

Ahhh politics!

(Photo: Tracy O [4])


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[3] tax proposals of both candidates: http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/04/news/economy/obama_claim_p1/index.htm?postversion=2008090409

[4] Tracy O: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracy_olson/61056391/sizes/l/

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