Obama's fraudulent tax argument
Democrats have always been good at the politics of fraud. Obama is extraordinary in that regard. It will take a while for voters to figure it out, but Lowry is on the right track.
"If your family earns less than $250,000 a year," Obama said in his speech to a joint session of Congress, "you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime." Unless, that is, your family pays a utility bill.
Earlier from the same podium, he exhorted Congress to send him "legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution." This cap-and-trade program would increase the cost of energy for everyone, regardless of income. It is a broad-based (if indirect) tax hike of the sort the casual listener would have thought Obama ruled out in categorical language.
Obama's just-released budget outline proposes using revenues from cap-and-trade to fund his "making work pay" tax credits that were part of the stimulus bill. Of those credits, Obama said, "The recovery plan provides a tax cut - that's right, a tax cut - for 95 percent of working families." This was a central Obama campaign pledge, although he never mentioned he'd fund it with a countervailing tax hike on working families and everyone else.
If you follow the money - out one pocket, in the other - Obama's campaign promise is exposed as a fraud.
In his speech, Obama didn't want his listeners to think he's a big-government heir to Lyndon Johnson, so he talked of slashing waste. He said his team had begun going "line by line" through the budget, and "we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."
In common parlance, "savings" is taken to mean . . . well, savings. But half of this $2 trillion is accounted for by Obama's planned tax hikes on the rich - in other words, he has identified revenue, not savings. Much of the rest is arrived at by assuming the Iraq War would cost $170 billion a year for the duration, even though Obama has long planned a drawdown. He portrays himself as ruthlessly paring back government when he is simply raising taxes and leaving Iraq.
Obama boasted of a "recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities." Again, the casual listener might conclude he won't tolerate earmarks, although a $410 billion spending bill is speeding through Congress with 8,500 earmarks that Obama stands ready to swallow.