I love this guy! Obama vs. Obama Not long ago, Obama warned that raising taxes in a struggling economy is "the last thing you want to do." 1:21 AM, JUL 11, 2011 â¢ BY STEPHEN F. HAYES In a 75-minute meeting Sunday night, President Obama once again demanded that more than $1 trillion in tax increases be part of any deficit reduction package attached to a vote on the debt ceiling. In the session, Obama rejected a Republican proposal to seek $2.5 trillion in spending cuts and reforms, and insisted on higher taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals. Itâs a curious position, given the anemic economic growth and rising unemployment. And itâs even more curious considering that Obama himself has warned about the deleterious effects of raising taxes in a struggling economy. In August 2009, on a visit to Elkhart, Indiana to tout his stimulus plan, Obama sat down for an interview with NBCâs Chuck Todd, and was conveyed a simple request from Elkhart resident Scott Ferguson: âExplain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.â Obama agreed with Fergusonâs premise â raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. âFirst of all, heâs right. Normally, you donât raise taxes in a recession, which is why we havenât and why weâve instead cut taxes. So I guess what Iâd say to Scott is â his economics are right. You donât raise taxes in a recession. We havenât raised taxes in a recession.â Todd reminded Obama that he had promised to raise taxes on âsome of the wealthiestâ Americans. Obama responded by reiterating his opposition to tax hikes during a recession and making an argument about timing. âWe have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress â which by the way were different from the proposals I put forward â still wouldnât kick in until after the recession was over. So heâs absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up â take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.â When Obama warned about the consequences of raising taxes, the economy was moving away from recessionâgrowth in the fourth quarter of 2009 was nearly 6 percent. Today, however, economic growth has slowed to less than 2 percent. Even before the horrible June jobs report, economists were warning about the âsubstantialâ possibility of a double-dip recession. Many others agreed after the news last week. âIn addition to the shock valueâ¦we need to seriously question whether a double-dip is there,â David Ader, chief treasury strategist at CRT Capital, told CNBC. âI would say itâs back on the table.â If raising taxes in a recession would be âthe last thing you want to do,â wouldnât raising taxes in a struggling economy teetering on a double-dip be the second last thing youâd want to do? Obama made a similar argument in December, when he signed the bipartisan tax relief agreement â a deal that maintained Bush tax rates (even for the wealthy) and included additional tax breaks for businesses. âMillions of entrepreneurs who have been waiting to invest in their businesses will receive new tax incentives to help them expand, buy new equipment or make upgrades â freeing up other money to hire new workers.â If Obama was right and the tax breaks in that deal freed up money for job creators to hire new workers, isnât the reverse true? Isnât it the case that new taxes on entrepreneurs and other job creators will leave them with less money to hire new workers? And wouldnât raising taxes on the âwealthiestâ just âput business further in a hole,â as Obama believed just two years ago? His economics were right. So why the change?