If bad ideas were jobs President Obama would have just solved the unemployment crisis. Sadly, they’re not. They’re just bad ideas, which means unemployment is staying high and Republicans have their work cut out for them.
Here’s our Top 5 Bad Ideas from the 2012 State of the Union, let us know what we missed in the comments below.
5. Financial Crimes Unit: In what sounds like a rejected plot for a CBS procedural (Law & Order: Financial Crimes Unit *dun*dun*), Obama promised to create a unit of “highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud.” Not necessarily a bad idea, just completely redundant. Has he already forgotten the speech he gave in 2009 when he created the “Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force” to “hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis.”
Obama is growing the federal government so fast that not even he can keep up with all the programs he’s creating.
4. Stopping Non-Existent Business Tax Breaks: One of President Obama’s most mentioned phrases were mysterious tax breaks for “businesses that ship jobs overseas.” But what the heck is he talking about. We know Washington is not exactly a wizard (see what I did there?) when it comes to tax policy, but does anyone really think they created a tax break for outsourcing?
As Shikha Dalmia wrote for Reason, “The truth is that not even Mitt Romney’s tax accountant could get him a tax write off for moving jobs to Bangalore. So what in the name of Warren Buffet’s secretary could Obama possibly mean?
It’s unclear, but we think Obama was trying to get at the fact that American companies don’t pay taxes until they bring their profits back to our shores – a necessary outgrowth of our outmoded corporate tax structure. But the answer isn’t to make it more complicated. The solution is to simplify in a way that cleans out loopholes and lowers rates.
3. More Green Energy Tax Credits…Because Solyndra Worked Out Great! This President just can’t get enough green energy. He’s like the guy who just got dumped but refuses to admit it to himself. He keeps texting. He sends flowers. He stands outside with a boombox playing “In Your Eyes.”
But seriously, since 2007 total federal energy subsidies have increased from $17.9 billion to $37.2 billion – the vast majority of which have gone toward “green” sources. Companies are literally just filling the desert with solar panels in an effort to spend everything Washington is willing to give them.
And yet Obama wants to give out more. Expect to see more Solyndra’s in our future. Oh wait, we already have.
2. De-Richifying the Rich: Last night President Obama proposed the latest, and most fleshed out, version of the “Buffet Rule.” The plan would require all individuals who earn at least $1 million to pay an effective tax rate of no less than 30 percent.
Let’s ignore the fact that according to the CBO, the top 1 percent already pay 30 percent of their income in taxes. Let’s set aside the fact that the lower capital gains rate (which is already going up under Obamacare) is double taxed corporate income. And of course let’s forget that even if we took half the annual income of everyone making between one and ten million dollars and every last penny of those who make more, we’ll still only decrease the nation’s debt by around 3 percent.
Even if you ignore all of that, it still wouldn’t come close to paying for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid without reforms…and it’s not even close.
1. You WILL Buy Clean Energy, And You’ll Like It: For the second State of the Union in a row the President has proposed a “clean energy standard” which would set a minimum level of energy output that would have to come from clean sources. Not exactly a move befitting a supposed free-market, but hey, it’s become pretty clear nothing will stand in the way between Obama and his green energy girlfriend.
You see, Obama has been doing his best to pump taxpayer-financed subsidies into green energy companies, but they still can’t produce energy cheaply and efficiently enough to compete in the marketplace.
Rather than give up, admit that the private sector is probably better at this whole investment thing, and go home, Obama is planning on creating a market for green energy out of thin air. Sure it will mean higher energy prices for consumers, more taxes for taxpayers, and yet another step in the march towards a command and control economy. But hey, he’ll be that much closer to fulfilling his campaign pledge to “create” 5 million green jobs. Only about 4.95 million left to go!