Sunday, February 22, 2009

Deficit cutting?

It's hard to stay mad at the guy -- although I'm sure our new president will find yet another way to get me flying off the handle in short order. Nevertheless, today, I like what I'm reading.

Mind you, I don't see much chance of cutting the budget deficit in half over the next four years, since I honestly don't believe the current stimulus is large enough to jumpstart the economy. What is making me happy today is the means Obama proposes to reduce the deficit.

The 39.6% top marginal tax rate was, in my opinion, Bill Clinton's greatest accomplishment. No matter what the Republicans insist, it never seemed to slow economic growth in the slightest -- and the elimination of that tax category under Bush accounts for a good chunk of the Bush deficit. Yes, Mr. President, by all means -- let's bring that back again.

Even more encouraging, to me, is the plan to tax the investment income of hedge fund and private equity partners at income tax rates rather than capital gains tax rates. I honestly don't know how much extra money that will put into government coffers, but if it happens, I will happily take back everything I've said (as in my previous post) about Obama being a Clintonesque stooge of Wall Street.

To conflate Rahm Emmanuel and the United Negro College Fund, a good crisis is a terrible thing to waste -- so let's get out there and soak the rich. Now, that's change I can believe in.

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