In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece and in an interview on CBS This Morning today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued President Barack Obama’s economic proposals — as well as those espoused by Republican presidential candidates — are fundamentally unrealistic.
“Over the past year, as the candidates jockeying for the Republican nomination raced to the right, the Obama campaign has sought to re-energize its base by tacking left,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote. “The president not only embraced the frustration expressed by Occupy Wall Street protesters—which was real—but he adopted their economic populism.”
The economic problems of the country, Mr. Bloomberg contended, cannot be solved without raising taxes for all Americans, while Mr. Obama only advocates raising them on the rich, a point he’s made previously.
“It may be a political solution to a problem, but it is not a solution to our fiscal problem. If you want to balance the budget, you have to raise taxes on everyone,” he said in his television interview. “You cannot either cut your way out of a problem or close your eyes and think it’s going to go away.”
Asked how the political structure could be motivated to behave responsibly, Mr. Bloomberg argued the public simply needs to rise up and pressure their elected officials.
“That’s why I wrote this op-ed piece,” he said. ”We’ve got to tell the public: Call your representatives, whether it’s the President, a senator or a congressman, and say, ‘I want a concrete solution. It may not be a solution that I like, but you’ve got to come up with something that actually balances the deficit.’”
He added, “And neither party and neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue have done that. They keep promising everybody something for nothing.”
Furthermore, Mr. Bloomberg said the president has the ability to accomplish something tangible by simply vetoing any attempt by Congress to extend the sweeping Bush-era tax cuts, which are automatically set to expire.
“Winston Churchill famously said, ‘America can always be trusted to do the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities,’” he quipped at the end of the discussion. “And that’s exactly what you’re seeing play out in Washington.”