Some of Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats are questioning his proposed tax cuts, including Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. “Well, mark me down as not overly enthusiastic about the tax cuts,” Harkin said today in a conference call with reporters.
This morning, Obama outlined an economic stimulus plan that could cost one-trillion dollars. That includes about $300 billion in tax cuts or refunds. “I understand that families are out there that are hurting and certainly people are out of work, but it seems to me the most important thing we can do is provide jobs and put people to work,” Harkin said. “I’m a little skeptical that this tax cut is going to have much of a stimulating effect.”
Harkin says it appears Obama is simply following through on campaign pledges. Harkin says he thinks tax cuts for middle-class Americans are “advisable” sometime in the future, but the most important issue now is to create jobs. The president-elect’s stimulus package would swell a federal deficit that’s expected to hit one-point-two trillion dollars. Harkin describes that figure as “scary.”
“But we can’t let that paralyze us into inaction. If that happens, then the economy will get even worse,” Harkin said. “You can’t borrow yourself out of debt, but what you can do is borrow yourself into a situation that will promote economic growth.”
Iowa Congressman Steve King, a Republican, criticized Obama’s economic plan, saying government expansion and more national debt is “exactly the wrong direction” for the country.