President Obama’s two-day campaign bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania last week did not go as planned. Designed to showcase Obama’s economic record, particularly on manufacturing, the tour was undermined by two news items. First, before the trip began, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its index of manufacturing activity fell to the lowest reading since July 2009. So much for Obama’s manufacturing-led recovery.
Then on Friday, the Labor Department reported that the United States economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, far below what is needed to keep up with population growth. Luckily for Obama, the unemployment rate only held steady at 8.2 percent. In a 5,100 word speech touted to the media as a response to the jobs report, Obama only devoted 51 words to it. By the end of Friday it was obvious to everyone that Obama has no new economic plan, and his existing economic policies are failing.
Hence today’s announcement, leaked to The New York Times, that Obama “is changing the subject to tax fairness” by calling for tax hikes on all Americans who make more than $250,000 a year. According to the Times, Obama “hopes to deepen the contrast with his challenger, Mitt Romney. On Friday, the president said Mr. Romney would ‘give $5 trillion of new tax cuts on top of the Bush tax cuts, most of them going to the wealthiest Americans.’”
Class warfare it is then.
Unfortunately, Obama may not have even his own party on his side. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., recently told The New York Post that families making $250,000 a year were “firmly in the middle class.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is also on record drawing the line at $1 million a year, not $250,000.
Schumer and Pelosi will no doubt fall in line with Obama quickly. They are, after all, good soldiers. But what about more centrist Democrats, especially those on the ballot in swing states this year? Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., both have said they are open to extending the current tax rates while the economy is still weak.
Obama seems to have resigned himself to a weak economy this fall, and he knows he can’t win on that. Instead, he will run on tax hikes and class warfare, hoping to redistribute wealth instead of creating it. We’ll see how many Democrats end up following him down this path.
Polls: A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of swing states shows Obama’s anti-Romney Bain ads are working. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney.
Romney: Romney held a fundraiser at the Hamptons home of billionaire David Koch Sunday, where he was met by some 200 protestors.
Iowa: A front page Des Moines Register story quotes former Obama voters who now regret their decision. “I wish to have my vote back,” said Debbie Smith, 51, a small business owner from Clive. “I feel completely responsible, and I feel like I need to tell people this.”
Around the Bigs
Associated Press, The tax man cometh to police you on health care: The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s health care law will come home to roost for most taxpayers in about 2 1/2 years, when they’ll have to start providing proof on their tax returns that they have health insurance. That scenario puts the Internal Revenue Service at the center of the debate, renewing questions about whether the agency is capable of policing the health care decisions of millions of people in the United States while also collecting the taxes needed to run the federal government.
CBS News, Discord at Supreme Court is deep, and personal: Jan Crawford reports, “Conservatives feel a sense of betrayal. They feel that Roberts changed his mind for the wrong reasons. If Roberts had been with the liberals from the beginning, sources tell me that would have been one thing; but switching his position – and relatively late in the process – infuriated the conservatives.”
The Washington Post, For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last: The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans — one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades.
The Wall Street Journal, New Jolt Looms for Investors: Investors already fretting about the health of the world’s biggest economies now face another worry: disappointing earnings.
The Los Angeles Times, High-speed rail officials rebuffed proposal from French railway: French railway firm SNCF, the developer of one of the world’s most successful high-speed rail systems, recommended that the state build the rail line along the Interstate 5 corridor and partner with it or another foreign firm to hold down costs.
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost looks at “The State of Race” four months out.
The Washington Examiner‘s Sean Higgins explains how Democrats how can believe Obamcare both is, and is not, a tax.
AEI‘s Mark Perry notes that the top 400 taxpayers paid almost as much in federal income taxes in 2009 as the entire bottom 50 percent.
Talking Points Memo is one of many lefty blogs picking up on a Hamptons Romney supporter telling the LAT: ““I don’t think the common person is getting it. Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.”
At Salon, left-wing child star Jonathan Crohn explains why he is no longer a right-wing child star.
Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum notes that those Louisiana schools with the most vacancies for school vouchers are also the least reputable.