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NO HE CAN'THOW BARACK OBAMA IS DISMANTLING HOPE AND CHANGE
By KEVIN MCCULLOUGH
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Kevin McCullough
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTall Tales About Taxes
Sometimes you just have to speak truth and do it with conviction. If we are to solve the significant challenges facing our economy, our national security, and our civil and moral liberties—and if we are to take stewardship of our world seriously—we're going to have to use bare-knuckled truth when we oppose popular political expression and the dishonesty found within it. To be clear, it is important when speaking of policy and its consequences to be accurate and honest.
So in my opinion, when it comes to economic policy, President Barack Obama has failed miserably to do so.
Beginning back when he was presidential-candidate Obama, he began laying down the long litany of falsehoods about the taxes being paid by American citizens, and the ridiculous, unaccountable spending that has gone hand in hand with them is one of the great travesties of modern times.
In the midst of an economy that was tightening, when then candidate Obama declared repeatedly that the tax cuts passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law during the Bush administration were nothing more than "tax cuts for the wealthy," it was dishonest. When he asserted and reasserted that the country had been damaged by the prior administration and that the economic slowdown was evidence of it, that, too, was dishonest. When he assured Americans that letting the tax relief—pushed for so strongly by President Bush—expire would be a healthy thing for the American economy, again it was dishonest.
But this was dishonesty that helped him win the election.
Leftist progressives like Barack Obama believe that the attainment of power is such a crucial principle that using any means necessary to gain it is permissible. We will discuss this in much greater detail throughout this book, but for now understand the simple fact that President Obama knew as a candidate that the policies he claimed would work had been proven historically as failures. Yet because of his dishonest representation of those policies, he was able to claim the mantle of power and earn forgiveness in the eyes of the Left. But that is the unfortunate side effect of dishonesty. Once you begin, it's difficult to stop, and eventually it begins to unwrap around you.
Unfortunately for many, it did not take long to see the lies begin to unfurl, even among ardent Obama campaign supporters.
Have you ever ordered an item after watching an infomercial about it? On screen the charming spokesman explains over and over how this one item will solve all of your problems and then some. "But wait; there's more!" he tells you when you reach for the remote. Even though in your heart of hearts you know it's simply too good to be true, and that nothing could deliver on those promises, you allow yourself to be hopeful, to be taken in, and you pull out your Visa card and call that 800 number.
This was the exact tactic taken by the Obama administration in 2008. Consistently staying on a message with a "too good to be true" ring to it, day after day. And it worked! Millions of Americans went to the voting booth and pulled the lever for Barack Obama, sometimes even admitting after doing so that they had no idea how he would live up to his promises.
For them the ushering in of the era that was sold as "Hope and Change" was more important than having a firm grasp of whether or not it would happen.
Throughout the campaign, one of the significant criticisms in my own mind as to Barack Obama's weakness as a leader was the fact that he had little-to-no executive experience outside of political campaigns. Time and again when challenged on this issue of executive experience, something that was equally lacking in both of the general election candidates of 2008, Obama's retort would be a reference to the size, scope, and success of his campaign operation.
In his column for the Washington Examiner dated June 8, 2010, Byron York documented two such references:
In mid-February 2008, fresh from winning a bunch of Super Tuesday primaries, Barack Obama granted an interview to "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Croft. "When you sit down and you look at [your] resume," Croft said to Obama, "there's no executive experience, and in fact, correct [me] if I'm wrong, the only thing that you've actually run was the Harvard Law Review."
"Well, I've run my Senate office, and I've run this campaign," Obama said.
Seven months later, after receiving the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper. At the time, the news was dominated by Hurricane Gustav, which was headed toward New Orleans and threatening to become a Katrina-like disaster. "Some of your Republican critics have said you don't have the experience to handle a situation like this," Cooper said to Obama. "They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience ..."
"Governor Palin's town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees," Obama answered. "We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years."
So we are to understand that Obama was willing to be judged by his track record at the helm of his electoral campaign operation as a measure of how he would ultimately run the nation?
Little did any of us know how prophetic that assumption truly was.
I WANT MY MONEY TODAY!
Very few newspapers ran the story when the news broke in the first week of November 2008.
People who had logged thousands of hours going door-to-door urging people to vote for Obama, driving people to the polls on election day, blanketing the byways with last-minute yard signs—and in Philadelphia, standing shoulder to shoulder to prevent Republicans from voting—suddenly got a taste of the hope and change Obama had long since promised: he didn't have money to pay them for their work.
Not surprisingly some of the campaign workers took umbrage to explanations the campaign gave them and began marching on the local offices. Several hundred disenfranchised Obama campaign staffers took to protesting right outside the doors of the local Obama election office in Indianapolis. Some shrieked and screamed at the media, "I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!"
Some of the 375 unpaid staffers were offered a $30 prepaid Visa. In some cases those staffers had worked weeks without paychecks, setting up events, recruiting attendance to rallies, and ultimately attempting to gain Obama the public's trust. In those speeches, at those rallies, and while shaking their hands, he promised economic recovery through specific ideas and plans that, in the opinion of history, he already knew had failed in the past. How ironic that the very first people to feel the sting of that dishonest message were the pawns in the game that had specifically been used to carry the water.
How bad did they feel when they realized the day after the election was over, when they were told, "Hey instead of your paycheck, here's a $30 prepaid Visa, and we really appreciate all your help"?
The falsehood of the "overpromise" was probably the most stinging to a poor woman who gained fame on YouTube. Her name is Peggy Joseph. And after attending an Obama/Biden rally in Kansas City, she made her now infamous comment to the watching world, saying that if she would just help Obama, he would see to it that she had gas in her tank and that her mortgage was paid.
At the time of this writing, President Obama has delivered on neither of those promises. And therein lies a larger issue. If he knows that the plans with which he has aligned himself to "fix" the "worst recession since the Great Depression" will not work, why risk the inevitable damage to his reputation in the end?
President Obama made the rookiest of all rookie errors while rushing his ascendency to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: he has overpromised and underdelivered. And now that the economy has stagnated to this level, one must wonder what else he has planned.
Unfortunately, there's plenty more he could do ...
A TAX INCREASE BY ANY OTHER NAME
It was the campaign pledge heard 'round the globe.
"How many people in here make less than a quarter million dollars a year?" Senator Barack Obama would call out at the same point in every campaign speech. "Uh-huh ... that's what I thought. Well if you make less than a quarter million dollars a year, in a Barack Obama administration, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime. And 95 percent of Americans will see their taxes go down."
Because so many who heard him on the campaign trail never took a look at the fine print of his policy goals, they did not realize that he was planning to break that same promise before even concluding the speech through which they were sitting at that very moment.
Oddly enough it is a campaign pledge he has claimed to keep even after election. He referred to it in his State of the Union address in 2010:
That's why we extended or increased unemployment benefits for more than 18 million Americans; made health insurance 65 percent cheaper for families who get their coverage through COBRA; and passed 25 different tax cuts.
Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. (Applause.) We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. (Applause.)
The only problem with his reference is that it was 100 percent untrue. It was untrue in January 2009, and remains so even now.
In order to justify his numbers, Obama's accounting took funny math and applied it to a round of checks that were sent to the American people as a form of welfare. Yet in reality those rounds of payment could not under any honest accounting be considered tax cuts. The tax rates themselves were not reduced, and from the moment President Obama made the "anyone making less than $250,000" pledge, Americans could expect to be told in that same speech that tax increases were on the way.
So let's press Pause for a moment and demonstrate how these promises were false.
From the same campaign podiums that President Obama proffered his own "no new taxes" pledge on those making less than a quarter of a million dollars per year, he also attempted to indemnify honest tax relief passed in the previous administration.
"The Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy" was how he referred to the series of genuine tax reductions that had been passed by Democrats and Republicans working together in the previous administration and signed into law by then president George W. Bush. With bipartisan support President Bush had pushed for a reduction in the marriage penalty, the estate tax, federal income taxes, and a host of taxes related to the average American's retirement savings and investment plans.
Did the Bush tax reductions benefit the wealthy? Of course they did. But they also benefited every American household that paid federal taxes.
What President Obama never revealed as a candidate, and in my opinion, will not bother to volunteer now that he holds office, is that for the total amount of tax revenues paid to the federal treasury, those evil wealthy people pay roughly 50 percent of the total federal tax receipts. Additionally at the time of the election, the bottom 45 percent of earners in the American economy had a 0 percent federal tax burden to pay.
These parameters become highly important given the dynamics of the psychology of his pledge on the campaign trail. For if 45 percent of workers are not paying federal taxes, how is it possible that 95 percent of American working families would receive tax reductions?
What President Obama distributed in the form of the federal checks sent within the first few months of his presidency was not a reduction of tax rates that were in place; it was payback for votes that had been cast to get him elected. And the majority of it went to people who did not presently pay federal taxes.
Additionally, when Candidate Obama would excoriate the Bush-Tax-Cuts-for-the-Wealthy, he normally followed it up with a pledge to allow them to expire in 2010. Somehow he believed that if they simply expired, it would remove his responsibility from the equation of ushering in one of the largest tax increases in history (which it will be).
But if you will notice his promise made in the statement at the first of this section, he didn't promise that he wouldn't raise taxes. He promised that people's taxes wouldn't increase by a dime on his administration's watch. In the most specific and literal sense of the words he spoke, it would be his duty to oppose the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, not to allow them to expire.
Yet by clearly stating his intention to watch them expire, Senator Obama, candidate for the presidency, was fully announcing tax increases, not only on the top 2 percent of earners, but on every tax-paying working family in America. The very same working families that he pledged would not see their taxes increase by a "single dime."
New York Post: 57 percent tax Rates for small Businesses
There is no greater way to injure the working family in America than to smash the kneecaps of American small business. Small businesses in America account for roughly two out of every three new jobs created in the modern economy. At times in our history, that number has increased to as many as three of every four.
Many small-business owners make less than $250,000 in revenue per year, and a large number of businesses clear less than that in total profits. Needlesstosay,many—ifnotthemajorityof—smallbusinessesinAmerica would potentially have felt some measure of security in Candidate Obama's promise to not allow a "single dime's" increase in the taxes they pay.
So imagine the shock to those same small-business owners when they opened up the New York Post on July 22, 2009, where Charlie Hurt began his report:
Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers.
New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent—rates not seen in three decades—to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week.
The top rate in New York City, home to many of the state's wealthiest people, would be 58.68 percent, the Washington-based Tax Foundation said in a report yesterday.
That means New York's top earners, small-business owners and most dynamic entrepreneurs will be facing new fees and penalties.
The non-partisan think-tank calculated the average local tax rate in New York State at 1.7 percent, and combined it with the 8.97 percent that high-bracket state taxpayers will shell out in 2011, when the health care plan is set to take effect. Tack on the 39.6 percent federal tax rate, 2.9 percent for Medicare and 5.4 percent for the health care "surtax," and the figure is 56.92 percent for the Empire State.
In New York City, the top tax rate is 3.65 percent, making the Big Apple's top combined rate even higher.
The $544 billion tax hike would violate one of President Obama's ironclad campaign promises: No family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s.
Under the bill, three new tax brackets would be created for high earners, with a top rate of 45 percent for families making more than $1 million. That would be the highest income-tax rate since 1986, when the top rate was 50 percent.
The legislation is especially onerous for business owners, in part because it penalizes employers some 8 percent of wages if they don't offer health care.
But the cost of the buy-in to the program may be so prohibitive that it will dissuade owners from growing their businesses—a scary prospect in the midst of a recession.
A scary prospect indeed! When the health care bill became law, the possible 60 percent tax rate for the very sector of the society that needed to be growing its employee base, had a chokehold placed on it.
But that was 2009. When the tax rates revert to Clintonian levels in 2011 (which will happen when the "Bush Tax Cuts" expire) and beyond, it will have a chilling effect on job creation by businesses small and large. That will make a bad situation even worse for those without work.
Around this same time period in 2009, members of the White House press corps began putting two and two together. They were beginning to very slowly realize that perhaps what had been promised prior to November 2008 wasn't quite measuring up in post-January 2009.
Excerpted from NO HE CAN'T by KEVIN MCCULLOUGH Copyright © 2011 by Kevin McCullough. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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