With some notable and well targeted exceptions, President Obama has dialed down His Agenda for the ramp up of his reelection campaign. In order to secure his voter base, he focuses on fund-raising and the continuation of his class warfare theme. Finding sufficient votes beyond his base – the white, liberal independents that bled away since 2008, well, that will need his best efforts to feint towards the center and assuage the fears fired up in the trickery and single-mindedness of passing the health care usurpation.
His fund-raising events break all records. In his first year of office he attended 22 fund-raisers; President G.W. Bush held six in his first year. The pace continues unabated including three fund-raisers this past weekend, while government spending similarly breaks all records. Meanwhile the debate stagnates in the legislature to manage our astonishing deficit. The Obama deficit alone this year exceeds the entire federal budget of FY 2000. With default looming, the gold standard of bonds, U.S. Treasuries, is in danger of being downgraded by Moody’s and Standard & Poors for the first time ever because of the size and growth rate of the nation’s debt – almost $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Each of us has another mortgage. We are on track to become Greece.
Big government with money to spend and voters to control, Keynesian economics gone wild, is a mainstay of the Democrat and Presidential program. In the face of all evidence, Democrat leadership is inextricably caught up in the credo that professionally managed bureaucracy (an oxymoron, if ever there was one) under the control of a liberal/socialist leaning government will solve all our problems. Ratcheting up inexorably the degree of authority necessary to leverage this unworkable miracle is inevitable: that authority is what they crave and that is what we have at stake in the 2012 election.
Ms. Pelosi famously stated, we need to pass the bill (Obamacare) to know what’s in it. As we learn more and more of the details including the virtually unrestrained power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the staggering costs layered into the bill, it becomes increasingly clear, we were hoodwinked once again. A McKinsey & Company report in June upped to 78 million their estimate of currently privately insured citizens that will be cut loose by their employers. The numbers are simple: the average small business cost to the company after employee contributions for health insurance is $4,150 for a single plan and $9,773 for a family. Many already struggling small businesses can opt for a $2,000 fine per employee and consign them to the exchanges. If they have fewer than 50 employees, they get an exemption from even that fine. It is no surprise that the National Center for Policy Analysis projects those to be dumped into the exchanges at between 87 and 117 million. The original Congressional Budget Office used the administration’s assumptions of 24 million covered by the new exchanges, of which only 9 to 10 million would be due to losing their coverage with their employer.
With the original administration numbers, the CBO estimated $500 billion in additional Federal spending over the first decade of the plan. Using the McKinsey numbers or the NCPA projections, the costs in reality will fall between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion: unaffordable costs to layer on to the already unfettered burden. Obamacare has to go; it won’t go as long as its author remains in the White House and Harry Reid remains leading the Senate.
The Democrat dominated House, Senate and Executive branch failed to pass a budget in two years. No budget – like trying to manage a household with no regard to spending, no relationship between income and expense, maxing out the credit cards until they’ll take no more. The newly Republican led House passed a budget within months of having the votes. Yet the response of our President to fiscally responsible, necessary spending cuts proposed by House leadership is to insult our intelligence and play to his voter base with tired rhetoric that spending cuts must be accompanied by tax increases (or his even more tired cliché, revenue enhancement).
His proposed solutions? Class warfare.
Get rid of tax shelters for the rich: most repeated refrain from President Obama is to eliminate the deduction for corporate jets and oil drilling subsidies. Could there be a more cynical, emotional chord to play for the almost 50% of lower income voters who pay no taxes now, most of whom are Democrat voters? Charles Krauthammer recently ran the numbers. Getting rid of the corporate jet deduction would completely cover one year of Obama deficit (not annual spending, just the borrowing), if those dollars had been collected since the time of Jesus – 2,000 years. The oil drilling subsidies (tax credits to encourage domestic energy production) would cover one year of Obama deficit in 700 years. If we put in place both “tax increases to the rich” and collect the extra dollars for 100 years, we’ll handle the Obama deficit for February. But this mantra makes for strong, outraged sound bites for his voter base, and does nothing to discuss seriously the hard decisions necessary to shrink government spending.
To raise taxes on everyone making more than $200,000, another favorite Obama refrain, would indeed cover the deficit, if only each one of them would pony up an additional $3.5 million a year. Among successful small business owners, who make more than $200,000 and generate the majority of new private sector jobs, the uncertainty about the fiscal future, future taxes and the profligate regulations produced by the Dodd/Frank financial reform bill, the EPA and Obamacare has paralyzed new job formation in that critical segment. The president promised his stimulus bill of just under $1 trillion in borrowed or printed money (another clichéd euphemism – quantitative easing), would keep the unemployment rate below 8% with ‘shovel ready’ jobs. The unemployment rate rocketed to above 10% and settled back into a firm 9.1%.
No solutions beyond grabbing more of the citizenry’s money, he continues to fan the flames of class divisiveness accompanied by crippling debt and unemployment. The country has paid a heavy price for the inexperience and doctrinaire left ideology many feared from this president. It is past due to rectify that mistake.
Favorite current bumper sticker: 2012, End of an Error.