Posts Tagged ‘The challenge for the Tea Party movement’

Obama Confronts Tea Party About Big Government Spending With Hollow Rhetoric

September 24, 2010

The New York Simes ran a story titled, “Obama Offers Advice, and a Challenge, to Tea Partiers.”

At the CNBC town-hall-style meeting, President Obama offered a little advice for members of the Tea Party movement who argue that the federal government has grown too big and powerful.

The president said that sentiment was rooted in history, and called it a “noble tradition of being healthily skeptical of government. That’s in our DNA. … That’s a good thing.”

But he critiqued the Tea Party candidates, saying they were failing to identify actual cuts in government services that they were willing to accept to force such changes in spending.

Their message is, he said: “We’re going to control government spending. We’re going to propose $4 trillion in additional tax cuts and somehow magically this is all going to work.”

Mr. Obama said he had the following question for Tea Party candidates: Would you cut veterans benefits? Would you cut resources for Social Security and Medicare? What taxes are you willing to see go up?

“The challenge for the Tea Party movement is to identify what exactly would you do,” he said.

Two things wrong with Obama’s “challenge”:

1) I thought we had a president.  I guess we don’t, which is why Democrats have to keep blaming Bush for everything.  I mean, isn’t Obama sort of responsible for his massive deficits?  Shouldn’t maybe Obama take a look at his spending, rather than demanding that his critics fix all the problems he’s supposed to be fixing?

Maybe Obama should just resign from office, so someone else can deal with the disaster, since he clearly has no ideas as to what to do.

2) Obama asks, “Would you cut veterans benefits? Would you cut resources for Social Security and Medicare? What taxes are you willing to see go up?”  As if people are blaming him for enacting veterans benefits, Social Security, and Medicare.  That’s just the kind of empty, sounds-smart-if-you’re-really-stupid rhetoric I’ve come to expect from my demagogue-in-chief.

How about if Obama had asked, “Would you cut my $3.27 trillion stimulus porker? Would you cut resources for my ObamaCare boondoggle (see also here)?  Which one of MY out-of-control spending packages would you like to cut?”

And, of course, the answer, in terms of the Tea Party movement “identifying what exactly would you do,” would be to say:

“WE’D START OUT BY UNDOING EVERYTHING YOU DID, AND THEN CONTINUE BY DOING EVERYTHING THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF YOU!!!”

If Obama were halfway honest, rather than the disingenuous liar he has proven himself to be, he’d ask about what we would do about HIS socialist welfare spending, rather than FDR’s and LBJ’s.

For the record:

In the first 19 months of the Obama administration, the federal debt held by the public increased by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the cumulative total of the national debt held by the public that was amassed by all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan.

For the record:

[F]rom the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.

Mr. Obama’s spending plan approved by Congress last February calls for doubling the national debt in five years and nearly tripling it in 10.

For the record:

President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”

The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. […]

Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”

For the record:

Serious consequences associated with deficit spending have long seemed like far-off problems, but they are now likely to hit the country with considerable force within the next several years.

One is servicing the debt itself. Most people don’t pay much attention to the interest payments the federal government makes every year. They haven’t had to. Debt service has been manageable, thanks to low interest rates and consistent economic growth.

But, according to the Congressional Budget Office, annual debt payments — currently about $200 billion — are set to skyrocket. CBO estimates that interest payments on the federal debt will total $916 billion by the year 2020.

“Interest rates are going to rise and at the same time, we’re going to have a substantial increase in the size of the debt,” says Roberton Williams, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “We’ll be paying five times as much in dollar terms by 2020 than we did last year.”

Think of what our lives will be like as we have to pay off the equivalent of Obama’s massive 2009 stimulus plans every single year.

And Obama weasels out of his overwhelming role of imploding our country by pointing to policies that were enacted generations ago?  He tacitly argues that any support for Social Security and Medicare means that people somehow MUST therefore support his asinine stimulus and his ObamaCare boondoggle?

3) When Obama says, “What taxes are you willing to see go up?” he is relying on a fundamental fallacy of liberal progressivism, namely that ever higher tax rates collect ever higher tax revenue.  I debunked this error of thinking in an article entitled, “Tax Cuts INCREASE Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues.”

At the ultimate level, the progressive myth clearly breaks down: just make the income tax rate 100% on everyone, and see how long it takes for everybody in the country to quit their jobs.  To put it in a nutshell, when the income and capital tax rate is kept low (certainly not at zero, but low), there is more incentive for people to work, and invest, and risk their time and their capital, with the result that the economy grows.  And then the tax revenues actually increase, because taxes are collected from a much larger base.

And more people have jobs, too.

Fortunately, one gets the point that the American people are either not even bothering to listen to Obama anymore, or else they’ve finally seen through his nonsense.  Even DEMOCRATS are tuning Obama out in droves now.