Surviving tough times: Trains, cranes and tax strains? President Obama delivers his September 8 talk on economic incentives. Photo: White House photo serviceDo you support Obama’s Triple Play with the economy? The lackluster economic recovery continues to dominate the news and will no doubt be the top issue in the November mid-term elections.

The president appears to be pulling out all the stops to get the economy moving. Yesterday, he proposed new incentives to aid businesses. Companies could write-off 100% of the cost of investments in new plants or equipment. These incentives apply through the end of 2011.

Obama also wants to plow $50 billion more into roads and railways.

And, he opposes extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. He wants to make the tax cuts permanent for low- and middle-income families. Those with incomes above $200,000 (or above $250,000 for a married couple) would have to pay more taxes.

The incentives are intended to encourage big business to spend their cash (which they have been holding onto out of fear and uncertainty) on expensive equipment and plant purchases, adding a boost to the economy. They would mean about $200 billion less in tax revenues over the next two years. The hope is the new purchases would stimulate the economy to a much greater extent.

The roads and railways money is also meant to simulate the economy as it improves the nation’s infrastructure. And the changes in taxes for individuals and families will shift the burden to the wealthier segments of our society.

This Triple Play is a curious mix of conservative and liberal economic policies. Allowing companies to write-off new investments is a classic pro-business proposal. Spending more on roads and railways is a classic liberal way of simulating the economy. And, making wealthy Americans pay more taxes is, well, putting things back the way they used to be. Progressive taxation always made sense to me.

What do you make of the presidents Triple Play? Do you support the whole package? Part of it?

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