The Wall Street Journal Falls Flat In Attempt To Discredit Obama's Second Term Plan

The Wall Street Journal resorted to false claims and misrepresentation to attack a booklet detailing President Obama's economic proposals for a second term.

Yesterday, the Obama campaign released a 20-page booklet detailing his economic plans for a second term. The Journal responded in an editorial, saying that the booklet proved Obama is “tapped out.” In order to reach that conclusion, the Journal distorted Obama's record regarding job creation and immigration and misrepresented his proposals on deficit reduction.

In the booklet, Obama proposed lowering the corporate tax rate, ending tax deductions for companies who ship jobs overseas, dealing with China's trade practices, training two million workers through partnerships between community colleges and employers, and creating a network of manufacturing innovation institutes in order to continue manufacturing private sector job growth.

The Journal responded to this proposal by distorting Obama's record on manufacturing, claiming that his past attempts to create jobs “with more government spending” and “temporary tax favors” resulted in the country losing “610,000 net manufacturing jobs.”

But the Journal is being disingenuous by claiming that Obama's policies are responsible for losses in manufacturing jobs. Starting at a point at which it is reasonable to assess the effect of Obama's policies, the end of auto rescue spending in June 2009, the economy has added 217,000 manufacturing jobs. This reversed a trend of manufacturing job losses that started at the beginning of the Bush administration and resulted in 4.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs lost.


The Obama booklet also contained a plan for deficit reduction, a plan that calls for tax cuts for the middle class and cutting "$2.50 in spending for every $1 in additional revenue from the wealthiest families."

The Journal attacked this plan, claiming that Obama plans to lower the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy, a plan it claims “increases revenue only between $50 and $80 billion.”

In fact, Obama's plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans would generate $850 billion over the next decade, and economists say it's impossible to balance the budget without some tax increases. Furthermore, for years, Obama has proposed to pair tax increases for the wealthy with even larger spending cuts. Indeed, some progressives have criticized Obama's budget proposals for cutting spending too much.

The Journal also attacked Obama for not mentioning immigration reform in his booklet of economic proposals. The Journal claimed Obama poisoned “the political well” when it came to that issue. The Journal explained Obama's “rhetorical attacks and lawsuits against Arizona and this summer's executive-order fiat on young illegal immigrants” have “ensured GOP hostility” to immigration reform.

But contrary to the Journal's claim, the GOP has been hostile to immigration solutions for years. In 2007, Obama, who was a senator at the time, voted for the measure, but Republicans blocked it. The GOP continued this anti-immigration reform obstruction after Obama became president, blocking the DREAM Act, which would have given immigrants brought to the United States as children the opportunity to become citizens.