Obama defends tax hike while claiming to be a fierce free market advocate 

On the day the administration is releasing its Economic Report of the President, President Obama, in a sitdown with Bloomberg, claims a pro-free market stance while defending raising taxes on families earning $250,000 or more.

He said his plan to repeal President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 a year isn’t “punitive” and is a means to “deal with debt and deficits in a realistic way.”

First, if we're going to continue to refer to these as Bush's tax cuts, then let's refer to the change as Obama's tax hikes. Second, "families earning more than $250,000" include the more than 21 million sole proprietorships that file taxes as individuals. In other words, he's taking a bite out of the very thing he's claiming to want to protect. Third, apparently "dealing with debt and deficits in a realistic way" means raising taxes on job creators and then spending the money on green jobs in China and health care reform that no one seems to want.

Earlier in the article, Obama offers this:

“GM and Chrysler aren’t out of the woods yet, but there is an enormous opportunity for us to rebuild a U.S. auto industry that, absent our intervention, might not have been there, at least with those two companies,” Obama said.

The auto bailout, he said, is “a very politically unpopular decision that was made that, from my vantage point, is pro-business.”

Well, it's definitely pro-these-particular-businesses, so he hit that one out of the park. But the fact that Ford is posting higher profits than government-backed GM and Chrysler should be sign enough that the auto bailout wasn't necessary to save the American auto industry.

This leads to a strange conclusion: Obama's idea of being pro-business means he plays favorites. Sure, he'll hike taxes for small businesses, but when big business comes knocking, as GM or Chrysler can attest, he's all ears. But they're not the only beneficiaries:

As Obama defended himself against charges he is isolated from business, a number of CEOs sat outside in the West Wing lobby: General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt and Honeywell International Inc.’s David Cote were among those waiting for a meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and energy coordinator Carol Browner to discuss climate-change policy.

General Electric and Honeywell discussing climate-change policy? Perhaps they're going to discuss cap and trade, which will make them a bundle but will put out smaller businesses unable to afford the new regulations.

Welcome to Obama's free market -- free for those on his good list.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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