Wasn't the president's tax deal with the Republicans one of the most curious bits of theater you've seen recently. He said at his press conference that he was being held hostage (presumably calling the Republicans terrorists) and had to cave in and give tax "cuts" to the "wealthy" in order to get tax "cuts" for everyone else. Wow. What a novel idea to actually give tax relief to those who actually pay most of the taxes! Anyway, it is not a tax "cut". Bush cut the taxes and Obama is not letting them rise to their old levels (for now). Along with the tax "cut" is a two percent cut in payroll taxes paid by the employee for two years. Supposedly this is to help jump start the economy. It won't rather it will just slow down the slide. Consumers in recessions pay down debt and so do businesses. Until they do so and until the housing market recovers we will be in a slow growth mode. Also no one is going to seriously consider altering buying and investing with just two years worth of relief. If Obama were truly serious, he would make all the changes permanent. Lastly, the president continues to amaze me in how he is such a bad politician. His performance belies the avowed intellectual superiority of an ivy league education. Heretofore, the only dolt we were told with degrees from Harvard and Yale was George Bush. Does Obama really think we believe that he caved because he did not have the votes because of Republican solidarity? Did he forget that he still has the lame duck congress with his super democrat majorities in both the house and the senate? Who is he kidding. Instead of being long faced, he should have been enthusiastic and embraced the ideas as his own. That would have been the first step into morphing into Bill Clinton and getting re-elected in 2012. Instead he continues to be Jimmy Carter, destined for a one term presidency.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com