It seems that the approaches on how to fix the economy fall on two distant sides. Mr. Obama proposes raising taxes on the wealthiest in the nation to increase revenue and help lower the deficit. Mr. Romney offers an extension of tax cuts to everyone, while reducing the deficit by closing loopholes. In the past four years the economy has been painfully slow in its recovery. So, what did the Obama-Biden plan of 2008 look like and did it work? What happened with round one?
The first thing to notice, if taking a holistic view of the proposal, is that most of the ideas in it were old. The ideas and proposals had been out for quite some time and some policies had already struggled to gain traction in Congress and its committees. Mr. Obama decided to propose a “rapid, aggressive response to the financial crisis…(and) immediate relief for struggling families” initiative. This unrefined proposal has not curbed the financial problems and so far has been static at best. The response has been slow, families are still struggling and this initiative came neither aggressively or immediately.
The plan wanted to give tax credits to small businesses that have been burdened by health care and energy costs. Mr. Obama did provide some tax cuts. But, with Obamacare and new energy policies, small businesses are taking on a heavy burden, which in the end has slowed the rate in which they will hire new workers and pushed layoffs due to new health coverage mandates. Mr. Obama can give all the tax breaks he wants to small business, but his insidious regulatory policies are not giving way to new jobs. His proposals and initiatives seem to be engaging in an internecine conflict with his actual legislation and enacted policies.
Mr. Obama wanted to unionize labor with his endorsement of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Unions are now at one of the lowest points they have ever been, in regards to participation rates. The rate has bottomed out around a 70-year low.
As well, the Obama-Biden plan had numerous proposals for the government to spend billions of dollars. This, they actually did. The deficit rose by $5.2 trillion and massive spending increases ran across the board. All while putting in to law cuts to our safety such at the $500 billion cut to the military with another $500 billion cut coming in with sequestration.
The key difference is not just the theories or policies themselves. The crucial point is that Mr. Obama has already had four years, two of which were in a Democrat controlled Congress, to steer the economy in the right direction. Instead, we received Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Both of which have already burdened the private sector with numerous regulations that imposed hours of paperwork burdens and billions of dollars in costs. The economy is still in a painful recovery process. Mr. Obama came out looking like a lightweight in a heavyweight title match. In round one, Mr. Obama forgot to lead and earn his way to the second round.