Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Liberalism, Media Bias, Taxes | Tags: Don't Raise Taxes in a Recession, Redistribution of Wealth Doesn't Work, The Welfare State Fails
President Obama said today, in his daily press conference designed to show everyone how much attention he is paying to the important debt battle, now that after 2½ years he has decided to be interested in the country’s fiscal straits.”We’re in the 11th hour and we don’t have a lot of time left.” he said.
So here’s where we stand. We have a Democratic President and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts, modifications to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare that would strengthen those systems and allow them to move forward, and would include a revenue component. We now have a bipartisan group of senators who agree with that balanced approach. And we’ve got the American people who agree with that balanced approach.
Well, no they don’t. And 80 percent of the people aren’t anxious to have their taxes raised either, contrary to what the president claims. But the mainstream media will obediently pummel the Republicans for pushing spending cuts and refusing to support tax increases in connection with raising the debt limit. Republicans had a mandate from the voters in November to do just that.
In negotiations on the debt limit, Obama has said that he will not support any cut in ObamaCare, even though large majorities favor its repeal. No messing with entitlements, but he’d be glad to cut Medicare some more. Gotta get rid of those troublesome old folks. And the $53 billion he wants to spend on high-speed rail projects is absolutely off the table. The states into which Obama wants to put his high-speed rail for the most part, don’t want anything to do with it. To call high-speed rail a boondoggle is a compliment. It’s way worse than that. Wendell Cox explains:
The Federal government is again offering money it does not have to entice a state (Iowa) to spend money that it does not have on something it does not need. The state of Iowa is being asked to provide funds to match federal funding for a so-called “high-speed rail” line from Chicago to Iowa City. The new rail line would simply duplicate service that is already available. Luxury intercity bus service is provided between Iowa City and Chicago twice daily. The luxury buses are equipped with plugs for laptops and free wireless high-speed internet service. The buses make the trip faster than the so-called high speed rail line, at 3:50 hours. The trains would take more than an hour longer (5:00 hours. …Only in America does anyone call a train that averages 45 miles per hour “high speed rail.”
The funding is the first step in a faux-high-speed rail plan that envisions new intercity trains branching out across the Midwest. A similar line from St. Louis to Chicago has increased in cost nearly 10 times from under $400 million to $4 billion. European researchers have found that the average rail project costs 45 percent more than projected and 80 percent cost overruns were not unusual. Cost overruns were found in 9 out of 10 projects, and ridership falls far short of projections. Three Republican governors have turned down government money and high-speed rail, so far, with more to follow.
Some travelers return from China full of praise for their new high-speed trains. The Chinese won’t ride the bullet train, it’s too expensive. The Beijing-Tianjin line, build at a cost of $46 million per mile is losing more than $100 million per year.
Columnist James Pethokoukis explains Obama’s tax obsession. “He needs Big Taxes to fund Big Government.” To fund ObamaCare (which is going to require constantly increasing taxes) to fund new social spending and green “investment” we need dramatically higher taxes.
But even Obama’s economists have told him that you don’t raise taxes in a recession. But three liberal think-tanks are calling for unprecedented tax hikes on millionaires, higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco, securities transaction taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, higher taxes on corporations higher death taxes, carbon taxes and gasoline taxes. These, they are really sure, would not hurt economic growth. They think this is a “sustainable” fiscal path through 2035. Their plans, collectively, call for Washington to collect an average of 23.6 percent of GDP— compared to the average post-World War II average of 18.5 percent. The very highest level of tax revenue that the U.S. has ever collected is 20.9 percent in 1944.
New York Times liberal economics columnist David Leonhardt says:
For taxes to remain where they are, Washington would need to end Medicare as we know it, end Social Security as we know it, severely shrink the military —or do some combination of the above.
How interesting. Paul Ryan has just proposed a plan that saves Medicare and Social Security, without shrinking the military and puts the economy back on a healthy path— by cutting excessive spending.
Liberals always have good intentions. They want to give people stuff and make people love them. And because they are brilliant caring people they want to be in charge. But they never, never look at the evidence or the history of experiments with good intentions. And if they chance to see that it didn’t work, they simply tell themselves that this time it will be different. And it never is.