President Obama has unveiled his budget proposal (only two months late, but who’s counting?), and he presented it with the same gravity and urgency that informed Americans have come to know and love from Dear Leader. Each and every time the president makes the decision to engage in smear tactics to push his next bad policy through the legislature, he necessarily takes a dramatic stand in front of the media and points his finger at the Republican bogeyman. It is the same politics of divisiveness, the same vilify-and-conquer strategy he uses every time, so there were no real surprises.
Here are the main points people should take away from President Obama’s budget:
1. This budget is just more tax-and-spend socialism.
Yes, President Obama is making some reforms to Social Security and Medicare, and it’s about time we started taking a serious look at making those programs sustainable. But despite the president’s statement to the contrary, his talk about fiscal responsibility truly is just a bunch of “smoke and mirrors.” There are some token entitlement reforms, but overall, President Obama’s budget represents a massive increase in government spending. The president’s talk of deficit reduction just doesn’t hold water in light of the fact that spending is set to go up yet again, with no possibility of ever reaching a balanced budget under the president’s plan. The main goal of the president’s budget seems to be raising taxes as much as he can so that he can spend more money. His talk of cutting or reforming entitlements amounts to little more than a token effort to get Republicans on board – or, at the least, leave himself an opening to criticize Republicans who don’t get on board.
2. Raising tax rates does not guarantee higher revenue.
The historical evidence is more than sufficient to show that higher tax rates do not naturally lead to higher revenues. The important factor is not the tax rates themselves, but the number of taxpayers, and this is where President Obama’s policies continually fail. Our modern political newspeak has even gone so far as to change the way politicians talk about tax hikes; instead of calling them what they are, they are now referred to as “revenue increases,” despite the fact (and probably to hide the fact) that raising tax rates does not always lead to higher revenue. In fact, revenues increased under the Bush tax cuts, which were pretty much universally vilified by the Left as “unpaid for.” The fact that those tax cuts paid for themselves through increased economic activity and a larger tax base seems to be irrelevant to leftists like the president, who prefer to use the tax code as a tool to pit lower- and middle-class Americans against the wealthy. It is much more likely that President Obama’s massive tax increases, combined with the tax hikes that came out of the “fiscal cliff” compromise, the Obama administration’s culture of over-regulation, and the administration’s utter failure to bring improvement to the nation’s employment situation, will lead to drastically lower revenues.
3. The entire budget proposal is a manipulation campaign.
As I’ve already stated, President Obama’s budget proposal will never balance, will not reduce deficits, and will only increase our nation’s already problematic debt. It’s obvious that the goal is not fiscal responsibility. But President Obama doesn’t just see himself as the President of the United States; he seems to consider himself to be some kind of puppet master, and this is reflected in his style of governing (if you can really call it that). Time after time, rather than providing real leadership, he lays the groundwork to use Republican goals to reduce the size of government to turn every issue into a blame campaign, never just presenting his case to the American people, but rather advertizing a mocked-up scenario where he is the sole voice of reason combating the Republican bogeyman that, according to him, is continually trying to trample on the little guy…and while this is no way to lead a nation toward prosperity, it has proven to be an effective political tactic for President Obama.
4. Both sides hate it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good compromise.
President Obama has (and will continue to) use the fact that both sides hate his budget plan as evidence that it should be an acceptable compromise for both sides…but as has been the case with every single budget the president has put forward, that is not the case. President Obama’s past budgets have met with bipartisan rejection in the past because they are horrible. But over the past four years, the president has had no reason to care whether his budget proposals passed – the Democrats’ strategy was to use baseline budgeting and continuing resolutions to get their way and try to keep their financial irresponsibility under the radar. Now that President Obama has won his second term, his worries about how his budget proposals are perceived only extend as far as his ability to to get the uninformed and the leftist Kool-Aid drinkers fired up to pressure Congressional Republicans to actually vote for his bad ideas.
5. Obama is still lying about the sequester.
Sequestration was the first real cut our nation’s government has faced in a long, long time…and it wasn’t even a real cut, it was just a reduction in spending growth. But while President Obama has proven that he is not committed to doing what is right for our nation’s fiscal future, he has made it clear that he is going to cash in on his lies about the sequester for as long as he possibly can. President Obama’s budget undoes sequestration. The president enabled the Executive Branch to maximize the public effects of the sequester precisely so that he would be able to point fingers at Republicans (yet again) in order to manipulate them into voting for tax hikes as a compromise – in fact, the president’s strategy from the get-go was to use sequestration as a bargaining chip to get more tax hikes. He just didn’t foresee the GOP standing firm and letting the cuts take effect. Now, he is forced to carry through on all of the threats that he made about the disastrous consequences that would result from sequestration, so that he can get the tax hikes he wanted anyway.
Over all, this budget proposal is just more proof that President Obama is a socialist hack with no understanding of simple economic principles. I mean, raising cigarette taxes to fund universal preschool? The original intent of cigarette taxes was to dissuade people from smoking. What’s going to happen to that preschool initiative if people stop smoking? Or should we be encouraging more people to smoke for the good of our children and grandchildren? And since when is the minimum wage supposed to be high enough for someone to raise a family? Do we really need American high school kids deciding “OK, this job flipping burgers pays well enough, maybe it isn’t worth getting an actual career?” If the President of these freaking United States can’t even understand a concept as basic as minimum wage, much less what raising the minimum wage will do to our economy, this country is in for four years of big, big trouble.