Obama’s late Christmas gift to the corporate community

January 8, 2009 | John Burbank

As President-elect Obama’s economic stimulus package has developed, it has a gained a big post-Christmas ornament that has nothing to do with stimulus and everything to do with currying favor with the corporate community.  His package includes a refund provision that would enable some companies posting losses last year to get refunds for taxes paid as far back as five years earlier.  The businesses could re-file their old tax returns, using the losses suffered last year to offset profits made when times were good.

The cost – at least $100 million.  But it does nothing to stimulate demand and therefore very little to move the economy forward.  It is an effort to win Republican support for the entire package.

That’s a high price tag for post-partisanship, to be borne by taxpayers.  With big Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate, there is no need to kowtow to GOP interests.  Let’s have them wear their own clothes. If they choose to vote against a stimulus package that creates jobs and rebuilds infrastructure, then the American people will have no doubt about who is working for them and who is not.

More details on Obama’s proposal here.

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Posted in Tax and Budget

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