Pretty much any time the President proposes anything, conservatives cry “Uncertainty!” — that somehow the mere act of proposing reform causes businesses to be become paralyzed by uncertainty at what will happen next.
Of course, the only way to end any uncertainty is to finish the legislative process and put reforms into place — note this Moneywatch headline from March: “Health Care Stocks Rally as Vote Eases Uncertainty”.
But during the legislative process, conservatives also cry “Slow Down!” in hopes of grinding Congress to a halt. It’s the protracted debates and relentless obstruction that put the certainty of the outcome into question.
President Obama wisely turned the “uncertainty” cry on its head, at today’s press conference:
…we’ve got an area of agreement, which is, let’s help families out there who are having a tough time. As I said, we could, this month, give every American certainty and tax relief up to $250,000 a year.
Every single American would benefit from that. Now, people who make $250,000 a year or less, they’d benefit on all their income. People who make a million dollars would benefit on a quarter of their income.
But the point is, is that that’s something that we can all agree to. Why hold it up? Why hold the middle class hostage in order to do something that most economists don’t think makes sense?
It’s an inarguable point. If conservatives keep up the obstruction on behalf of multi-millionaires, the Bush tax cuts will expire for the middle-class. and most Americans will spend 2011 wondering if they going get a big tax jolt or if Congress will eventually extend the cuts and make them retroactive.
Just like with health care, allowing a vote and ending the debate brings certainty. Continued obstruction that prevents us from solving known problems brings uncertainty.
The President pinned the blame for uncertainty where it belongs: on the obstructionists.