President Barack Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But because he focused on political gimmicks, rather than real reform, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits and nearly $6 trillion added to the debt instead. Based on what we heard from the president at a news conference Tuesday, his unserious attitude is likely to continue.
That’s worrying. Unless we can get a handle on Washington’s overspending, and quickly, it will continue to undermine our economy and jeopardize our children’s futures.
Sadly, the White House is not yet serious about doing that. Instead, it has predictably suggested politically driven tax hikes as appropriate offsets for the sequester, including a tax on corporate jets. If that sounds like a poll-tested P.R. gimmick rather than a serious solution, that’s because it is. A permanent tax increase like that would take 10 years just to raise enough money to replace one week’s worth of the sequester.
A similar scheme, attempted in the 1990s, actually resulted in lost revenue. It had to be repealed just a few years later because of the economic damage it caused.
In short, a tax on corporate jets isn’t a real plan. It’s a cheap stunt. And it certainly won’t shrink the deficit or increase jobs.