About the only credible claim President Obama made in his speech on the deficit and fiscal policy Wednesday was that the George W. Bush prescription drug program was expensive. From there it ranged from tired partisan demagogy to the baldly asinine to be expected from lazy high school kids – “The dog ate my homework.” The president’s speech read like a college sophomore’s research paper who partied all night long and never got around to writing it until 6 AM the day it was due.
He starts by blaming our current mess on the Bush tax cuts, more accurately known as the Bush repeal of the Clinton tax hikes. (Which, by the way, made rates more progressive by cutting the highest rates less than the lower ones, as a percentage.) In fact, the biggest driver of our present difficulty is the loss of tax revenue caused by a severe recession. It was brought about by the federal government, when it created a real estate boom and then bust by interfering in mortgage lending to guarantee bad loans to people who couldn’t afford to buy houses. Many of these same financial wizards have recently created Obamacare to ensure that cheap, quality health care will be available to all.
Faced with this disaster, our president blew close to a trillion on stimulus which he claims to have saved millions of jobs and kept credit flowing. In fact, unemployment, rather than staying below 8% as promised, immediately rose to nearly 10% and remains stubbornly high. In fairness, the unemployment situation might be better if not for the creation of the job-killing health care monstrosity, which has employers unaware of and rightfully fearful of their future liabilities, groaning under the yoke of yet another government entitlement in addition to the ones already going broke.
This is the economic track record of our president, whose main private sector experience was as a “community organizer.” He assures us that Obamacare will save money, while accusing Wisconsin Congressman Ryan’s plan as a plot which “ends Medicare as we know it.” Being that Medicare, (not to mention Medicaid and Social Security) is going broke, is that a criticism?
The president asserts that “to meet our fiscal challenge...we will all need to make sacrifices.” Yet he resists changes in the entitlement programs as giveaways to the rich, millionaires and billionaires, going back to those wicked, diabolical Bush tax rates. However, as pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, (The Presidential Divider, 4/14/11), the cost of the Bush tax cuts through 2021 will be about $3.7 trillion, with only $.7 trillion of that in the top bracket. The article goes on to cite IRS figures for 2008 which peg taxable income for all those earning over $100,000 at $1.582 trillion. Taxed at 100%, it wouldn’t cover this year’s deficit.
Clearly, the President has not put a calculator to his soak-the-rich path out of the our nation’s debt, and his economic advisors remain the same merry crew which assured him that the $814 billion stimulus package would hold unemployment under 8%.
Anyone who wants to hand more money over to these guys, step right up.