Posted by | October 25, 2010 18:33 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

To listen to Republicans on the stump, one would look at the Obama administration as being in favor of taxing and spending its way to oblivion.  However, that would be ignoring reality.  First, it would be ignoring the Obama tax cut:

In a troubling sign for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections, their signature tax cut of the past two years, which decreased income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples, has gone largely unnoticed.

…which was admittedly designed to be ignored.

Actually, the tax cut was, by design, hard to notice. Faced with evidence that people were more likely to save than spend the tax rebate checks they received during the Bush administration, the Obama administration decided to take a different tack: it arranged for less tax money to be withheld from people’s paychecks.

Then there is the question of the deficit.  In the first year in which the current administration could really affect the deficit, which way did it go?

The US deficit shrank nine percent last fiscal year but still topped one trillion dollars, the government said Friday in a report seized on by Democrats’ rivals weeks ahead of mid-term elections.

Now, I always view claims that political problems stem from poor communication rather than policy differences.  But in this case, far too few people are aware that their taxes are lower and their deficit is lower (though still ginormous) under Obama than it was under Bush.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.