Friday, April 16, 2010

A Lie So Outrageous That It's Either Hilarious Or Insulting

Check out this whopper of a lie that Obama told in front of a friendly fundraiser crowd:

President Barack Obama said Thursday he’s amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.

Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he’s cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.

“You would think they’d be saying thank you,” he said.

Words fail.

Actually, they don't, but I can't decide which is more mind-boggling: the fact that he would actually utter those words, or the fact that he clearly expects people to believe them. Heritage kindly recaps one -- just ONE! -- of Barack Obama's measures that raises taxes:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama pledged often and everywhere that Americans individuals making under $200,000 individually or families making under $250,000 would not see an increase in their taxes. However, by signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, President Barack Obama has officially turned his back on that promise. As the Heritage Foundation’s Senior Tax Policy Analyst Curtis Dubay points out, the impact of Obamacare on taxpayers will spread wide and cut deep. Overall, there are 18 new taxes slipped into this bill, raising $503 billion over a ten-year period to cement Democrats’ dubious claim of budget neutrality. Chief among these taxes are:

  • A 40 percent excise tax on health insurance plans
  • An increase in the Hospital Insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax
  • Payroll taxes on investment
  • Mandates on individuals an businesses to purchase health insurance, enforced with penalties in the event of non-compliance
In another move that smacks of politics as usual, Democrats have made sure these taxes and fees are not implemented until after their re-election campaigns. Almost all of these provisions take effect after the 2010 midterm elections, and the vast majority will not occur until after the 2012 presidential campaign, insulating President Obama and Congressional Democrats from the resulting political pressure. The greatest increase occurs in 2013, when Obamacare tax revenues triple from $12 billion to $36 billion, ultimately increasing to $102 billion per year in 2019.

Many of the new taxes will be targeted at medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and even indoor tanning salons, all of which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
Or, put into visual terms, it looks like this:

Wanna try again, Mr. President? It's amazing the things we learn when he's talking off the teleprompter, isn't it?

Oh, and this quiet whispering of a Value Added Tax (VAT) that the Obama administration is likely to try in the not-so-distant future -- a national sales tax ON TOP OF what we already pay in taxes today -- is nothing more than spin:
...this revenue source is old news in Europe, allowing Americans the ability to scrutinize its effects. Reports the Wall Street Journal, “VATs were sold in Europe as a way to tax consumption, which in principle does less economic harm than taxing income, savings or investment. This sounds good, but in practice the VAT has rarely replaced the income tax, or even resulted in a lower income-tax rate.”

The Journal goes on to say how the reality of a VAT is that rates often increase after implementation. Denmark’s VAT started at 9 percent and rests now at 25 percent; Germany’s grew from 10 to 19 percent, and Italy’s from 12 to 20 percent. These increases do nothing to curb federal spending—instead, they encourage more of it. Moreover, experiences in Europe show that adding a VAT does not result in less federal borrowing.

In short, it just won't work, mostly because of the corruption and unwillingness of politicians to live within their proverbial means. We don't have to guess because we've seen firsthand what will happen.

So what's the key? Probably a combination of things, including lower taxes and massive cuts in spending. That last part is the rub that not even Republicans want to talk about too loudly. Why not? Because to cut back spending means to cut back on the goodies and handouts that people get from the government. Look at how finely balanced this country is - only 53% paid income taxes this year, which means 47% didn't. What happens if a Republican-led government cuts the benefits in green programs or food stamps or any of the myriad dependence-feeding programs that exist nowadays? You have the potential for 47% of the country to rise up in anger, and vote themselves more handouts in the next election.

While this may be the right course, the Republican party isn't exactly known for its spine in following the right course. That's why it is so incredibly critical for every tax-paying, intelligent American citizen (all you 53%ers out there) to understand what's at stake, and to vote for people who will follow this extremely difficult but right course. We've still got the majority, so if we all mobilize, we can win the day, cut the government back down to size, and restore American freedom and prosperity.

Think of it this way. Let's say you are $10 million in debt, you earn $250,000 a year, and your annual expenses currently run at $275,000 a year. Though you make a terrific salary, you're in a monster-sized hole that is only getting worse with each passing year. Which is the correct way to reverse that hole and dig your way out:
1. increase your annual expenses to $300,000 a year and blame the problem on someone else
2. cut expenses as deeply as possible, say, down to $200,000 a year, and start paying down the debt

Sure, you can play the charade of answer number 1 for a while, but eventually the banker will come a-knockin' with his friend the Sheriff, and you're hosed. Answer number 2 is painful, and some of the people you owe money to aren't going to be real happy with you, but they'll still get what you owe them (even if it takes you longer to pay it back), and you show your good faith that you have every intention of paying everything back. When it comes to lending money on a global scale, the ability and willingness to pay back debts is critical, and the U.S. is on the brink of losing both.

The key to our government getting out of the massive debt hole it's in right now is to cut spending. Yeah, there are other things that go into it, too, but that's the single biggest thing that needs to happen. Look at the Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie - he's making those tough decisions and gutting programs that are political but aren't critical in order to get his state's budget mess under control. That's what we need to happen on a national scale, but it ain't gonna' happen with the current crop of Dems, and if we're being totally honest, not with the current crop of Reps, either. We need to pay attention to the Reps who are talking about cutting spending, keep them in office, and vote in new blood that is willing to tackle this painful reality head on with them.

Without that, I'm not sure this ship can be turned in time to miss the looming shoreline.

And it shows, because the Democrats in Congress are so afraid of the economic whirlwind they've already set in motion that they're not even going to pass a budget for next year. Because, of course, it's not exactly a political win to pass yet another budget with massive spending and increased deficits (which is undoubtedly what it would end up being) just a few months prior to what already promises to be a disastrous election for the Dems. Thus, they hide.

Regardless, with what Obama and the Dems have already done, you might look at this Tax Day with a sense of nostalgia - it may be the nicest one you have for a number of years, according to economist Robert Samuelson:
Almost nobody likes tax day, but people may look back nostalgically on tax day 2010 and those of earlier years because, almost certainly, taxes are going up in the future, and they may go up a lot. With hindsight, tax day 2010 may seem almost dreamy.
For starters, Obama is likely to push for some tax credits that aid lower and middle income families to expire. Then, he says this:'s peanuts compared to the real threat: an aging America. As almost everyone knows, the huge baby-boom generation is edging—or collapsing—into retirement. Its first members, born in 1946, turn 65 in 2011, when they will qualify for Medicare. Some have already taken Social Security as early as 62 at a reduced rate. Boomers collecting benefits, combined with uncontrolled health costs, are the underlying engine for rising federal spending and endless budget deficits.
And with DemCare being law now, this uncontrolled cost will be much, much worse. Samuelson calculates that in order to bring the rapidly increasing gap between what we pay in taxes and what we spend down to 2% (still not actually balanced, mind you), and if Obama holds true to his pledge to only tax the 'rich', it would require tax rates of 86% and 91% for the top two brackets! They're 33% and 35% today. Suddenly your $250,000 a year income is now $25k. But hey, you're rich, you can afford it, right? Oh, and how do you feel about giving 9/10ths of your formerly terrific salary to Barack Obama so he can redistribute it to people who are too lazy to hold down a job of their own? If that doesn't sit well with you, you clearly must be a racist, bigoted Bible-thumpin', bitter-clinger Nazi mobster Tea Partier or something.

Samuelson's point is that we're in such a deep dark hole that there are no ways out that aren't unpleasant in some form. Enjoy this year - it could be the best one you have for a while, thanks to decades of mismanagement by Congresses of both parties, and accelerated by the reckless spending binges of Barack Obama.

Cut taxes? That's one lie, Mr. President that truly is so outrageous that it's either hilarious or insulting. Probably both.

There's my two cents.


Quite Rightly said...

Fantastic post, as usual!

Linked at Bread upon the Waters.

Wayne From At The Water Cooler said...

I've linked to your post from At The Water Cooler - Taxing Recession

2Cents said...

QR - thanks for the kind words and the link!

2Cents said...

Wayne - thanks for the link!