Pres. Barack Obama promised to have a plan to pay for his massive new stimulus bill by Monday. He broke that promise, as he has broken so many others, and remains in the “plan to have a plan” stage of his inscrutable meditations, having only made yet another unsubstantial speech, full of high sentiment and short on details. The president says he wants to ensure that the very wealthy do not pay lower effective tax rates than do the middle-class, and argues that families and businesses earning more than $250,000 in any given year should pay an additional $1,500,000,000,000.00 or so in taxes, but is mostly mum on how to get that done: “We’re not going to give the Congress a detailed proposal for how to meet that principle,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says. In other words: Don’t ask us! We’re just the president and the cabinet and the entire executive branch of the U.S. government!
President Obama keeps repeating the words “Pass This Bill” like a third-grader who has just mastered a new vocabulary word, but it is worth noting that, at the moment, there is only half a bill: the 155 pages of stimulus spending he calls the American Jobs Act. That second part — the part where this is all “paid for” — has not condensed from the vapor that surrounds the president. It’s just a speech, putting us once again in mind of the Congressional Budget Office’s declaration: “We don’t score speeches.”
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