Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama's first defeat

Before he's even sworn in:
Bowing to widespread Democratic skepticism, President-elect Barack Obama will drop his bid to include a business tax break he once touted in the economic stimulus bill now taking shape on Capitol Hill, aides said last night.
Obama suggested the $3,000-per-job credit last week as one of five individual and business tax incentives aimed at winning Republican support. He proposed $300 billion in tax relief in a bill that could reach $775 billion, and he resurrected the jobs-credit proposal from the campaign trail as one of his main provisions. . . .
Democrats . . . dismissed the $3,000 credit to employers for every job created or saved as ripe for abuse and difficult to administer. When no champion for the proposal came forward, the president-elect decided to sideline the incentive.
"The president proposes, the Congress disposes," and giving tax breaks to business is an idea Democrats were happy to dispose of.

It is interesting to observe the naivete of Obama's method: Had he any real inkling of how Washington works, he would have recruited a "champion" for the legislation before he ever publicly proposed it. But during his four short years as a senator -- the last two of which he spent running for president -- Obama never really got involved in the legislative process. When you think about, Democrats were the minority for the first two years after Obama's 2004 election, so the only meaningful experience Obama had in the Senate was voting against the Republican majority's bills.

Obama got rolled by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and something tells me, not for the last time.


  1. When you consider the amount of games that would have occurred with businesses shedding/re-hiring employees to score the credit, maybe this was not such a bad outcome.

  2. Since you don't have to be a Representative or Senator to notice the need for a "champion" for your proposals, (as your ability to notice that need atests... [wink]), I tend to think that Obie is well aware of the need for such.

    As evidence for that claim, note that other components to bills that are in need of sheparding due to some controversy -- whether due to expected Republican recalitrance, electorate opposition, opponents within the Dems themselves, or any combination of the aforementioned -- have their champions already lined up.

    That indicates to me that the business taxbreak -- as paultry, feckless and insubstancial as it was in the form proposed -- was never meant to pass.

    It was a "sacrificial lamb" floated to be shot down to "show" that "Obie's his own man". That he's chock-full of bipartisanship, "fighting" the Lefty-most elements in his party... and therefore a Centrist.

    This puts it in the same catagory of political manuvering as putting Repubs in certain posts and making great show of an alliance with McAmnesty: to the convincing of the multitude of the Citizenry that opposition to his Oneness is purely partisan obstinance or racial bigotry.

    Look for stories and interviews to start popping-up themed something like this:
    "After all, didn't President Obama try to get along with those Eevviiiiil Conservatives(tm)* ?
    Just look at how he fought his own party! Those Dastardy Republicans(tm)* -- not to be confused with those statesmen(tm)* willing to Reach Across the Isle(tm)* in the Spirit of Bipartisanship(tm)* -- are just playing Partisan Politics(tm)*!
    ... Or, worse yet, they're [stage whisper] Racists(tm)* and Bigots(tm)*!"

    All Trademark(tm)*ed phrases are owned in whole or in part by Obama-Corp(tm)* , its subsidiaries, and/or the DNC(tm)*, or its subsidiaries, and cannot be used without the written consent of both Trademark(tm)* holders under penalty of law.