July 30 2013

President Obama: Detroit WHO?

Charlotte Hays

There is one city in the United States that has been a laboratory for President Obama’s economic ideas. So is the president bragging about this city when he delivers his 8,000-word campaign-style addresses on the economy? Oddly, he is not. What gives?

Communications consultant Jon Kraushaur explains:  

You don’t hear the president talking about Detroit. Maybe the reason Detroit is bankrupt today is because for decades it was governed, in large part, by the Obama playbook: Soak the rich, choke small businesses, and squeeze the middle class with high taxes (in the case of Detroit that included sky high property, commercial and industrial taxes).

President Obama, as Kraushaur notes, pines to do two things Detroit has perfected: raising property taxes, and raising taxes on “the rich” and businesses. Detroit, it is worth mentioning, has the highest property taxes of the fifty biggest cities in the U.S. How did this affect the “inequality” that so bothers the president? Well, about a fourth of the population moved away from Detroit.

And the money taken from property owners and citizens didn't really help the city:

[M]ost of the money ends up in government’s coffers where it gets misspent and siphoned to special interests—instead of in the pockets of citizens whose spending and investing stimulates economic and job growth.   

As one wag put it: Al Qeada is alive, but Detroit is dead.

President Obama seems strangely impervious to the disatrous effects of his pet policies. As Charles Krauthammer observed yesterday, the president talks “as if he’s been a bystander” on economic issues. And he never learns—for example, he is currently offering Republicans a “grand bargain for middle class jobs.”

According to this grand bargain, so called, the president is willing to cut corporate taxes—which is good—but only if Congress will agree to waste more money. He doesn't quite put it that way, but says instead that he will exchange the tax cuts for “investments” in projects to provide jobs. Trouble is, government-backed programs don’t really create good, long-term employment. Businesses do that.

Some of what the president wants is money for infrastructure improvements. Hey, what happened to that $700 billion plus stimulus? It was supposed to help with infrastructure projects. And—by the way—those new “investments” will be paid for by the taxpayer.

Not such a grand bargain after all.

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