NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 22, 2008

Barack Obama's recently unveiled economic strategy consists of old fashioned big-government planning, spending and taxing -- exactly what the nation and the stock market don't want to see, says Lawrence Kudlow, host of CNBC's "Kudlow & Company" and a nationally syndicated columnist.

Among Obama's ideas for "change":

  • Spending $150 billion on a green-energy plan.
  • Establishing an infrastructure investment bank to the tune of $60 billion.
  • Expanding health insurance by roughly $65 billion.
  • Regulating the profits for drug companies, health insurers, and energy firms.
  • "Reopening" trade deals, another way of saying he wants to raise the barriers to free trade.
  • Establishing a mortgage-interest tax credit.
  • Doubling the number of workers receiving the earned-income tax credit (EITC) and tripling the EITC benefit for minimum-wage workers.

The Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore has done the math on Obama's tax plan.  He says it will add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax and a 55 percent estate tax.

Adopting a tax increase plan like Obama's would be quite an irony, says Kudlow.  While newly emerging nations in Eastern Europe and Asia are lowering the tax penalties on capital -- and reaping the economic rewards -- Obama would raise them.  Low-rate flat-tax plans are proliferating around the world, yet Obama completely ignores this. American competitiveness would suffer enormously under Obama, as would job opportunities, productivity, and real wages.

Source: Lawrence Kudlow, "Big government Obamanation?" Washington Times, February 19, 2008.


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