Skip to comments.Obama may run Truman-style 2012 campaign
Posted on 08/16/2011 5:42:17 AM PDT by markomalley
President Barack Obama is eyeing a 2012 campaign modeled on President Harry Trumans 1948 successful re-election campaign against Congress. First, however, the White House will send to Capitol Hill an assortment of economy-boosting legislation in a package that may include a major overhaul of the tax code.
Ill be putting forward, when they come back in September, a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs, and to control our deficit, Obama told a friendly audience at a Decorah, Minnesota campaign-event on Monday.
My attitude is, get it done [but] if they dont get it done, then well be running against a Congress thats not doing anything for the American people, and the choice will be very stark and will be very clear.
My hope is that Congress is willing to take up tax reform, he said. So far theyve said that theyre willing to do it, but so far we havent seen a lot of energy on the part of some folks in actually delivering on tax reform, he added.
The potential success of Obamas proposed strategy is unclear. The GOP nominee has not been selected and Obamas approval rate has declined to 39 percentage points, according to Gallup. Also, Obama failed to get Republicans in Congress to approve a tax-boosting Grand Bargain during the debt-ceiling talks, even though a deal would have bolstered his campaign-trail claims that he is a fiscal conservative and a consensus builder in Washington.
The run-against-Congress campaign strategy echoes the successful 1948 campaign of President Harry Truman, who also inveighed against a do-nothing Congress while competing against a GOP presidential candidate.
The Republicans had a 60-vote majority in the House, and passed many pro-growth bills that were signed into law by Truman. The House passed the Taft-Hartley union regulation bill and a landmark defense reform measure. It also enacted the forerunner to the Current Clean Water Act. The House established the military ties that would become NATO and the the Marshall Plan, which helped revive the war-damaged European economies.
But Trumans do-nothing claim stuck, partly because the country was in a postwar recession.
Truman won the election with 49.6 percent of the vote against the expected winner, New York Gov. Thomas Dewey, who took 45.1 percent of the vote.
Obama did not describe the proposals that he would send to Congress in September, but did repeat a litany of measures that he has cited in his stump speeches. The proposals include an update of patent laws, a government backed infrastructure bank to fund state and local construction projects, tax increases on wealthy Americans, passage of three free-trade deals and extension of the temporary payroll tax-cut.
Following a question from the audience, Obama also endorsed a major reform of the tax code.
The super-committee of 12 legislators that was created by the debt-ceiling deal could close a bunch of these loopholes and tax breaks, he said, which would allow Congress to lower the overall rate, broaden the base.
It would be a fairer, easier system that would combine simplification with, actually, more revenue, he said.
However, Obama also said he would oppose a reform that lowered the overall percentage of taxes paid by the wealthy. I think its very important for us to maintain whats called progressivity in the tax code, the president said.
You can reform the tax code where you just have a flat tax, for example; the problem is Warren Buffett would probably pay even less in taxes, and a lot of companies would pay even less in taxes if you set up that system, he said.
The 2003 tax code signed by President George W. Bush increased the percentage of taxes paid by the wealthy.
For example, Bushs cut ended income-tax payments by roughly 10 million families, boosted the child tax-credit and ensured that the poorest 40 percent of families do not pay income taxes, according to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation.
Similarly, a December 2006 report by the Congressional Budget Office reported that the top 5 percent of tax-payers saw their share of all federal income taxes rise from 56.6 percent to 58.4 percent.
During his speech, Obama said he agreed in December to continue the Bush-approved tax cuts because their end would have been painful to middle-class families. Ending the taxes would have meant that the average family saw their taxes go up $3,000 on average, at a time when they were still digging themselves out of a debt hole, he said.
It would have been very bad for the economy, he said.
If the Republican Congress does not cooperate with his proposals, I will take my case to the American people, he said. If Republicans want to sit there and do nothing for the next 16 months, while unemployment is still high and small businesses are still suffering, then ultimately theyre going to be held to account by you, he told his audience.
So which country is he thinking of nuking?
My guess is Israel.
But Truman Burbank was a genuinely nice guy, unlike Hussein, who works to kill babies and old people!!!!
Truman didn’t have to deal with 24/7 cable news and the internet though. Go ahead and try to run it that way Baraq, and see how well it goes now.
Wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t buy an old locomotive and ride a Lincoln Trail. Hell, maybe he’ll grow a beard..
The article is dorked up, it is not correct.
Decorah, Minnesota .. NOT Decorah is in Iowa.
Maybe Truman in 52'. He was wildly unpopular, and lost the New Hampshire primary to Kefauver. He then dropped out.
Such a strategy could succeed if we send in our Dewey, Mitt Romney.
the next, lincoln,
and now, truman.
Don't forget Martin Luther King.
the busck Is that some kind of African Deer? LOL
But you are right. O’Blowme is too much of an ideolog to do something as smart and honest as that. Plus he is just too dumb
The "do nothing" here is the Democrat party and I mean the Senate in particular. It's abysmal and shocking they have gotten a free pass so long.
LOL...my very first thought, too.
Maybe that's a backup plan now having toppled Mubarak, picked on Assad, pushing Gaddafi, still in Iraq, Afghanistan...
That would certainly be a crisis.
So he wants to do a Truman number and run against a do nothing Congress huh?
Won’t work, because Truman had a both the Senate and the House in Republican hands. So he was able to paint the whole Republican party as obstructionists at a time when the media had already been working on destroying Joe McCarty.
The beauty of not winning the Senate last year means he cannot run against it.
What you need to watch out for is a Helter Skelter summer next year, because Obummer is hoping to start a race war so he and the MSM can paint the right a racist.
Good. Make that argument you Keynesian Socialist.
The country doesn't want Congress to do anything. We want Government to leave us the hell alone.