Will Obama Benefit from Bad Jobs Numbers that Look Good? Plus Death Tax Humor

Daniel J. Mitchell
Posted: Oct 14, 2012 12:01 AM

That’s a clunky title for this post, but I couldn’t think of any other way of expressing the potential political impact of a very muddled employment situation.

Let’s start with the obvious. The White House is very happy about the recent numbers showing that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8 percent. And since I predicted a long time ago that Obama would win reelection if the joblessness rate dropped under 8 percent, I can understand their relief.

But in this CNN interview, I point out that we still have a big problem with labor force participation and I explain that Obama is way behind Reagan in terms of job creation (as shown in this remarkable info-graphic).

I also make the point that the unemployment rate is far higher than Obama promised when we enacted the so-called stimulus.

But most importantly, I cite the Minneapolis Fed to show that Obama has the worst performance – whether looking at GDP growth or job creation – of any post-World War II president.

P.S. Apologies for being underdressed. I was in Virginia Beach for a softball tournament and didn’t expect to be in front of a camera (and I wasn’t full of smiles since my one-a-year achievement didn’t occur until the following day).

Death Tax Humor

I’ve previously shared the famous parable that uses beer drinking to explain the tax system and here’s a funny video of a comedian talking about taxes and Halloween.

I also found this bit of tax humor from England, though it’s really more about redistribution than taxes, and I think this cartoon about class-warfare taxation and the economy hits the nail on the head.

But in all my years of blogging, I’ve never found a worthwhile cartoon on the death tax.

So I was very pleased when a professor of tax law gave a presentation in the Cayman Islands earlier this week and showed this clever cartoon about the death tax. He was kind enough to share it with me so I could share it with you.

If you want a serious but concise explanation of why the death tax is very bad policy, check out my column from USA Today. And here’s some very depressing data on how the death tax undermines American competitiveness.

P.S. One final serious point about the death tax. If you have a nest egg for your kids, it’s better to die in Australia than New Jersey.

P.P.S. There are a lot of jokes targeting the IRS, which isn’t really the same as tax policy humor. But many of them are worth sharing, including a new Obama 1040 form, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.