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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Campaigning for Growth and Jobs

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Another grim jobs report, and the credibility of the president’s economic platform diminishes again, if that is even possible.

By now all but the most immune-to-facts Obamians must recognize that not only did the stimulus fail, but that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid insistence on raising taxes in 2011 is economic suicide. Burdened by the approached demands of Obamacare’s rolling mandates and higher taxes, American employers just aren’t hiring. When they recognize, as the Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial does this morning, that the president and his Congressional allies intend a push in 2011 for massive additional tax hikes even beyond those already scheduled, they pull in their expansion plans and hunker down. There won’t be job growth until there is real economic growth, and not the false growth of an expanding federal government and the false jobs of census takers.

The Tea Party movement —profiled in USA Today this morning— is a potent reaction to the president’s turn away from the private sector towards expansion of the federal government, and that after an era of massive expansion of state and local budgets and functions. The demand to shrink the government at all levels is also a demand to let the private sector grow and to allow Americans their full freedom to innovate, invent, experiment and, crucially, be left alone.

Republican candidates have to find their tax-cutting voice and take a page from the late ’70s when Jack Kemp, clutching a copy of his book An American Renaissance, criss-crossed the land demanding tax cuts and preaching economic growth as the answer to Carter’s years of malaise.

The president’s pathetic “the economy is headed in the right direction” declaration of Wednesday followed by his disconnected ramblings on immigration yesterday underscore the confusion of his message and the uncertainty even he feels about the consequences of his vast program of spending and government growth.

The GOP –from top to bottom– has to demand extension of the tax rates as they are and cuts where they will spur investment and job growth. Getting caught in what the Journal calls “Obama’s Tax Trap” isn’t an inevitability. That the president and his allies are even planning to demand more and more in taxes is an opportunity not to be missed to focus the debate and the crucial choice that will define the next quarter century even as 1978-1980 defined the 25 years that followed those crucial years.

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