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October 27. 2012 11:23PM

The Obama drag: The anti-investment President

About 1 million jobs this year alone: That is what the looming “fiscal cliff” has cost the United States already, according to a new study conducted by a University of Maryland economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. How could a combination of $500 billion in tax hikes and federal spending cuts cost jobs long before it is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013? To understand that is to understand how badly President Obama’s policies have damaged the U.S. economy — and will continue to damage it if he remains in office.

Business owners and executives have to plan months, even years, ahead. If they expect the next six months or year to bring a lot more business, they will order supplies and hire more people. If they expect a sharp drop in revenue, they will prepare for that by cancelling orders, reducing shifts and even laying off employees. Expecting the fiscal cliff to hit, U.S. manufacturers have been scaling back.

“Across the nation, companies are bracing for the fallout by laying off workers, letting jobs go vacant and postponing major purchases,” The Washington Post reported on Friday. The fiscal cliff would resort in the government “sucking more than $500 billion out of the economy next year,” as The Post put it. Of that half-a-trillion dollars, $400 billion would come in the form of tax hikes as the Bush tax rates expire; the remaining fifth would be spending cuts, primarily from defense.

Obama has said he would veto any bill to avoid the fiscal cliff if it does not raise taxes. Such a tax hike would come on top of Obamacare, which imposes huge costs on many businesses by forcing those that don’t offer insurance to offer it or pay a fine, and by forcing those that offer basic insurance to upgrade it to Obama-approved levels.

Many businesses have spent the entire Obama admini-stration putting off planned investments because Obama promises more tax hikes and regulations, and because his deficit spending crowds out other borrowing.

Obama’s four-year-long message to business owners has been: Sometime soon, I’m going to increase taxes and regulations. If Obama is reelected, this four-year drag on the economy will become an eight-year drag. We must not let that happen.


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