From GatewayPundit (and others), we see that Obama is doing his same ole number tricks:
Back in April of this year Barack Obama told the press that he “refused to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy again.”
But, he’s not a socialist.
Of course, it was just another lie.
Here’s what Obama doesn’t tell you. Most of those cuts did not go to millionaires or billionaires. Let’s just look at the Bush tax cut extension that Obama signed last year. CNN Money broke down the figures this way:
Bush tax cuts: $544.3 billion…The bulk of that cost — $463 billion — is for the extension of cuts for families making less than $250,000, including two years of relief for 2010 and 2011 for the middle class from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
The rest — $81.5 billion — is attributable to the extension of cuts that apply to the highest income families.
As per Rocketman, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 70% marginal rates back . . . heck, once upon a time, the rates went up to 94% . . . but I do want to step back from all the class envy and number-crunching to object to the “framing of the narrative.”
The rhetoric of “tax cuts” assumes there is some natural level of taxation that exists in the world, and that any deviation down from that is a great injustice.
Likewise, I hate hearing about “cutting spending” when what is actually occurring is, we’re cutting the rate of increase in spending . . . and there’s no actual decrease!
One example: you’ll hear the rhetoric that they’re cutting spending on education, say. Almost never is the situation that there is an absolute decrease in the amount of spending — usually what has happened was the original budget had baked-in a 10% increase, and now that has been lowered to only a 5% increase. Which doesn’t sound at all like cutting spending to me. The reference point shouldn’t have been a budget first draft–but rather what was actually spent or budgeted for the prior year.
I would love if we went to zero-based budgeting on both sides — taxation and spending — but it turns out that sort of thing doesn’t work in practice (somehow, magically, the ending budget is the prior year’s budget adjusted a little bit up, if you’re in government, or a little bit up or down, if you’re in business).
What would be nice is if Republicans talked about tax rates and not tax cuts from some mythical “natural” level of taxation.
The base assumption should be that people’s money belong to them, and not government.
So if a tax rate is cut from 40% to 30%, and others get a cut from 25% to 20%, it’s not eeeeevil rich people greedily withholding money from the government, and the middle class not getting its fair share. It’s that people get to hold onto their own money, and that’s a good thing–as they can spend it on what they want, and not to satisfy the rapacious appetites of some politicians.
Rich people are paying plenty in taxes (except, you know, when they don’t). And so are people all up and down the income scale (SocSec/Medicare taxes are really just another income tax — all that money is thrown in one bin, which is the upshot of Obama saying he doesn’t know if SocSec checks would be paid….)
The real side is spending: because there aren’t enough rich people to pay for the full measure of various promises made, everyone will end up paying for it.
So let’s start with the spending discussion, see how we can pay for it, and go from there.