The Washington Post

Obama can’t stop his ideology

Obama can’t help himself.  He is presented with a good idea, but his ideology gets in the way.  This time, it’s about America’s corporate taxes.  At some point, he was influenced by the wisdom of lowering America’s corporate tax rate, which is on track to become the highest of all developed countries.  But on the next page — not even in the fine print — we see that he is actually raising taxes on American businesses.  A tax cut that actually raises taxes isn’t socialist, it’s downright Soviet. 

In earlier exchanges, Carter and I argued about whether or not the president could do anything to try to lower gasoline prices.  Alas, we disagreed, but I’m certain there are some things everyone would agree we could do that would raise gasoline prices.  We could start by raising taxes on gasoline producers.  As I’ve asked before, who do we think is going to pay those taxes?  Please explain to me how this will not raise prices for consumers at the pump. 

And while he’s at it, President Obama wants to double down on the notion that companies like Solyndra should receive more benefits from the government.  His ideology commits him to the notion that we should use the tax code to try to pick winners and losers.  His favored lifestyle-shaping companies get rewards from the government; those he finds undesirable get punished. 

I fear that we have been making Obama’s reelection too easy, but when President Obama offers policy pronouncements like the one today, I feel better about Republican prospects in November. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.

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