Slate's Dave Weigel noticed a paradox at the heart of a statement Senator Mitch McConnell released Friday afternoon.
McConnell was responding to President Obama's Friday-morning press conference, in which the president said that increased government spending was the only way out of the economic crisis, and that the private sector was "doing fine." McConnell's statement:
"It’s baffling that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, this President still believes that spending money we don’t have to inflate the government is the answer to America’s economic problems. The economy would respond much more favorably to providing the tax certainty Americans deserve by extending all the tax rates and assuring employers they do not have to budget for the largest tax increase in American history next year. The Obama Economy is even slower now than when we extended the rates in 2010 -- raising taxes on job creators in this slow economy is simply not the elixir for his failed policies.”
In his own words, McConnell implies that his proposed policy solution -- tax cuts -- have done little to spur the economy in the two years since their extension. His simple solution: More tax cuts.
The Senate majority leader, along with his party, have long preached that such measures will grow the economy by easing pressure off high earners, and freeing up spending.
In 2010, President Obama agreed to preserve the Bush tax cuts for two years as part of a major compromise in which Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits.
They are set to expire at the end of 2012, setting up a political battle royale between the two parties. President Obama maintained on Thursday that he would not extend the tax cuts for the richest Americans.