Got your attention, didn't I?
You immediately knew that the title of this post must be some kind of joke, or perhaps the work of a leftist.
It is, in different ways, both. Since I myself wrote it, rest assured it is a joke. But because Barack Obama wants you to believe exactly that, it is also certainly the work of a leftist.
This is the first in a two-part series on the only two "arguments" you will hear every single day, in every single soundbite, from the Obama re-election campaign from now until November 6, 2012. First up: Barack Obama is the real fiscal conservative.
The soundbite goes like this, with very little imagination or variation, and it is one of the longest-standing tools in the Democrat toolbox:
"My opponent wants to raise your taxes in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich!"
Here's how this works. Imagine federal revenues, the amount of money the government receives through taxation, as a giant pie. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to reduce the tax burden across the board for every single American. This includes the highest earners, the so-called "wealthiest one percent." That is, according to Obama, Republicans want to shrink the pie. Less taxes paid means less revenue for the government. With me so far?
Barack Obama feigns great concern that if you shrink the amount of money the government gets, there will not be enough money to fund the government's obligations. That is where those crucial two words come in: "pay for." He wants you to believe that if you shrink the pie, ever so slightly, then that shrinkage has to be "paid for." The lost revenue simply must be made up in other ways. Right? Seems so obvious! I mean, the government has got to meet its obligations! If you make and spend $4,000 per month, and then get an unexpected pay cut to $3,600 per month, you're going to have to get a part-time job to make up the difference. The only way to make up the difference on the Federal scale, if you're cutting taxes for "the rich," is to raise taxes on the middle class. Right? Seems so obvious!
Let's puncture this rhetorical balloon with one simple, devastating question:
When has Barack Obama ever, ever, EVER cared about the government "paying for" its obligations?
This is the man who has racked up Federal debt to $16 Trillion, and Federal spending to $1 Trillion deficits every year as far as the eye can see. When it comes to spending, there is no amount that is too much for Barack Obama. He has never cared, he does not currently care, and he never will care about actually funding these spending obligations. He has never once indicated the slightest concern about "paying for" Obamacare, the stimulus package, or any of his other proposals. In fact, in each of his three years as President he has submitted budget proposals so ludicrously laden with spending deficits they have garnered not a single vote in the legislative branch, even among his own Democrats!
You know what listening to Barack Obama concerned about "paying for" tax cuts is like?
It's like listening to a lecture on thrift from a profligate trophy wife with a 5th Avenue addiction.
Mr. Obama finds himself in the unenviable position of seeming concerned about fiscal restraint when he 's so flagrantly nothing of the kind.
But we're still left with the "problem" of the shrinking pie, right? It is not enough to simply point out that Obama is being utterly disingenuous with this argument. Let's meet the substance of it, as well.
It certainly appears on the surface of things that a tax cut will result in less revenue. The pie will shrink. But will it? Actually, no! The more money wealthy people have in their pockets, the more revenue entrepreneurs and business owners have on hand, the more money they have to put into the marketplace. These people did not become wealthy by hiding their cash in their mattresses. They did it by putting their money at risk in business ventures. And when lots and lots of money, some of it the result of lower taxes, is being poured into the marketplace, new employees are hired, more inventory is bought and sold, and lots of people make more money. What is it that the government taxes, again? Oh yeah: income, among other things. More economic activity in the private sector means more government revenue, not less. More employees means more taxpayers. As Paul Ryan himself has put it: "We don't need more taxes. We need more taxpayers."
Every time tax cuts are tried they result in an "unexpected" increase in government revenues. The pie gets bigger, not smaller. This is historical fact. It is a fact that no less a Democrat than John Fitzgerald Kennedy understood. And the only way for Barack Obama to counter this fact is to distract you by his obviously deeply-held concern over "paying for" governmental obligations and to mock what he calls "trickle down" economics.
You should additionally know that on occasion President Obama has let the cat out of the bag. His interest in not cutting taxes has nothing to do with "paying for" the loss of government revenues, but rather that cutting taxes is not "fair." In 2008 Charlie Gibson noted in an interview with the President that each time the capital gains tax rate has been cut, government revenues have increased. "So," he asked, "why raise it at all?"
Obama tellingly replied:
"Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."
There it is, in black and white. Barack Obama believes that wealthy people have come by their wealth through ill-gotten gains, and the purpose of raising their taxes has nothing to do with "paying for" Federal obligations; it has everything to do with penalizing them, redistributing their wealth, and making things "fair." Never mind that this results in economic stagnation and less Federal revenues. He doesn't care. It is he who doesn't care about "paying for" anything.
Take home lessons on argument number one: Barack Obama is the person least suited to make an argument that involves any concerns about "paying for" anything. Call this the existential problem: the person making the argument is the most obvious hypocrite around. Second, the argument is simply wrong. Call this the factual problem: the pie doesn't shrink; it grows. Third, Barack Obama knows this, and simply doesn't care. Unlike his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, he is utterly beholden to an anti-capitalist, socialist wealth-redistribution ideology that results in the kind of economic quagmire we are witnessing today.
Learn these principles, pass them on to your friends and neighbors, and then vote against Barack Obama.
Oh, and you could also buy my new book.