On Monday, President Obama slammed Mitt Romney’s economic plan before an Ohio audience: “By eliminating taxes on corporations’ foreign income,” said Obama, “Governor Romney’s plan would actually encourage companies to shift more of their operations to foreign tax havens, creating 800,000 jobs in those other countries.”
Forget the campaign implications and forget the fact-check analysis. Simply take Obama’s accusation at face value. He is acknowledging—no, trumpeting—that cutting corporate taxes creates jobs. Eight hundred thousand of them.
If his charge against Romney is legitimate, and Romney’s proposed tax cuts would create jobs in the wrong country, why doesn’t Obama switch the target of the cuts and create those jobs here? He has said job creation is his number-one priority, and given his admitted understanding of the relationship between tax cuts and job creation, what’s stopping him from going beyond the Bush tax cuts and slashing us back to a healthy America?
The answer: class warfare and its political utility. Sure, tax cuts would put America to work, but the Buffett Rule would create the impression of fairness. And fairness is what Obama’s reelection campaign is all about. So after accusing Romney of job creation through tax cuts, the president will seamlessly return to making sure that “the rich pay their fair share” and ensuring that the jobs numbers keep dropping. The only thing worse than Obama’s keeping Americans unemployed owing to ideological confusion is his doing so out of political cynicism.