How credible is President Obama on taxes and spending? In recent days, he’s repeatedly condemned the “fact” that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than does his secretary. So in the 2013 budget proposal Obama unveiled yesterday, he proposes a new millionaires tax to make sure people like Buffett pay their “fair share.” But guess what we find when we look a little closer at the president’s tax proposals, as former New York Sun managing editor and current futureofcapitalism.com blogger Ira Stoll did? We find a bottom-line tax cut for Buffett worth an estimated $1.1 billion. Let there be no further denials that Obama is practicing precisely the demagoguery of a class warrior.
Then there is Obama’s smug White House chief of staff, Jack Lew, who went on two different Sunday news shows to talk up the president’s new budget. Twice he claimed Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in more than 1,000 days because “you can’t pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes and you can’t get 60 votes without bipartisan support. So unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed.” In fact, Senate rules only require a simple majority of 51 votes to approve a budget.
But wait, there’s more to the Obama record of double-talk and misrepresentation about federal taxes and spending. Take his claim that his budget cuts the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that most of Obama’s deficit “savings” come either from spending cuts already enshrined in law or money that was never requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bottom line: Over the next decade, Obama’s budget raises taxes by $1.9 trillion, raises spending $2.7 trillion, and increases the debt $3.6 trillion. Higher taxes, higher spending and more debt — that is Obama’s plan for the United States.
Less than a month after Obama was sworn into office, he hosted a “fiscal responsibility” summit at the White House where he pledged “to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.” And the first budget Obama produced projected he would do just that. It showed a $1.7 trillion deficit for 2009 and a $581 billion deficit for 2012. But then reality intervened. Obama’s $757 billion economic stimulus program failed to get the economy growing again. His Obamacare is driving health care costs ever higher, even before it is fully implemented. And he just “doubled down” on throwing more tax dollars at failed green energy efforts like the Solyndra bankruptcy. The result? Now Obama asks Americans to accept a $1.33 trillion deficit in 2012 and deficits every year for the next decade averaging $1.4 trillion.
What this country needs is an honest leader who will tell the truth about our entitlement spending crisis and identify real reforms. But Obama’s latest budget does none of that. Instead, he offers double doses of deficits, tax hikes and crony capitalism. America deserves better.