President Obama was back on the golf course Saturday – obviously, deeply concerned about the people still suffering in New York and New Jersey. That bit of sarcasm would seem harsh and out of touch to most Democrats, but given Obama’s handling of Benghazi and the deaths of four Americans, it seems a more than fair appraisal of what moves the needle on this president’s “urgency meter.”
Still, President Obama has ticked off a few of his “To Do’s” since last Tuesday’s election. He admitted, for example, that one of our unmanned, unarmed drones had been attacked by Iranian jets on November 1st. For those that pay attention to such trivia, that would be five days before the election. One can only wonder why it took so long for that news to find daylight. In still another in the long line of fortuitous coincidences that have guided Obama’s career, General David Petraeus, Director of the CIA, has stepped down. Conveniently, his resignation, based on an alleged extramarital affair, came days after (with no hint before) the election and days before hearings on Benghazi. The affair was reportedly part of an FBI investigation – Strangely, and apparently in violation of established protocol, not reported prior to the election, to members of the congressional intelligence committees.
As they say, “Timing is Everything.”
Then there was Obama’s speech on Friday, in which he noted in part, that
“…the American people voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs – not ours. And in that spirit, I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together – and I also intend to bring in business and labor and civic leaders from all across the country, here, to Washington to get their ideas and input as well. You know, at a time when our economy is still recovering from a great recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan that I talked about during the campaign. It’s a plan that rewards small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs here – not overseas. It’s a plan to give people the chance to get the education and training that businesses are looking for right now. It’s a plan to make sure that this country is a global leader in research, in technology and clean energy, which will attract new companies and high wage jobs to America. It’s a plan to put folks back to work – including our veterans – rebuilding our roads and our bridges and other infrastructure. And, it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way. Our work is made that much more urgent because at the end of this year we face a series of deadlines that requires us to make major decisions about how to pay our deficit down – decisions that will have a major impact on the economy and on the middle class, both now and in the future. Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars worth of spending that we just couldn’t afford. I intend to work with both parties to do more and that includes making reforms that will bring down the cost of health care, so we can strengthen programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the long haul. But, as I’ve said before, we just can’t cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue…and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That’s how we did it in the 1990’s when Bill Clinton was president. That’s how we can reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class and a strong economy. That’s the only way we can still afford to train our workers, or help our kids pay for college, or make sure that good jobs, or clean energy, or high tech manufacturing don’t end up in countries like China. Now, already I’ve put forth a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by four trillion dollars over the next decade. I want to be clear. I’m not wedded to every detail of my plan. I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas. I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenge. BUT, I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced…”
I was once taught by a Psychologist friend that the word “BUT” cancels everything said up to that point. You think?
I often find myself asking if it has occurred to others that this entire political conversation is a game that insults the intelligence of Americans. On the one hand, we have conservatives saying that raising taxes on those making over $250,000 is raising taxes on small business and on investors who make small business possible. I entirely agree with this premise insofar as those being targeted for tax increases are small business owners, or are investing in small businesses. President Obama, on the other hand, seems to completely discount the argument and wants to increase taxes on everyone over that threshold income. And as he does, he still claims that he will increase the number of jobs and attract new businesses. This is counterintuitive and, I believe, totally false. Additionally, it has been shown on several occasions that even if we taxed all of this target group at 100%, it would provide only enough revenue to run the country for a few weeks. At the same time, it would necessarily eliminate business investment.
What seems to elude Harvard educated politicians, but easily passes the commonsense test, is that if this were a fiscal, rather than an ideological argument, they need only determine who, making more than $250,000 is actually engaged in a small business, who is employing others, and who is investing in the small businesses of others. Extend the tax cuts for all of them and raise taxes, if you must, on the rest. Make sense?
The truth, as any breathing person should realize by now, is that tax increases will make no positive difference on the deficit, or debt. Whatever additional funds are brought into the treasury will be “invested” by Obama before they even arrive. They will not be used to reduce the deficit, or the debt. We should not forget that this president hasn’t even been able to pass a budget in his first term. By definition, this means that there is no plan, because plans are funded and executed through the budget process. He has increased the National Debt by more than five trillion dollars in less than four years – the most outrageous increase in the history of America.
If Barack Obama was a financial consultant, rather than president – If he had the same record in his business finances as he has had in Washington – If the financial rating of his company had fallen as that of America has – If you knew he had been operating his company for the past four years, without so much as a budget – if his company was deeply in debt and still borrowing to stay afloat – And if you were searching for someone to handle your hard earned retirement savings – would you put your entire financial future in his hands?