Rejecting False Choices and Exposing Lies

As August 2nd approaches, stipulated by Treasury Secretary and tax cheat Timothy Geithner as the date when the U.S. will reach its statutory debt limit, our illustrious president, Barack Obama, becomes more and more unhinged. From highly partisan, contemptuous and fact-challenged press conferences, to his angry and petulant exit from a meeting with Republicans on the issue, it is clear that Obama is feeling the pressure. This is compounded by the fact that the historically weak-willed Republicans seem shockingly willing to be proven vertebrates, and actually refuse to back down on principle (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent suggestion to completely abdicate constitutional duty and give all power to the president notwithstanding).

From class warfare rhetoric about tax breaks for corporate jet owners (signed into law by Obama in the 2009 stimulus bill, and less than a rounding error on the federal budget) to fear mongering the elderly to think Social Security checks will not go out, nothing is beneath this integrity-challenged president in his quest for power. He tirelessly repeats his Marxist mantra of needing to get “millionaires and billionaires” to “pay their fair share” and be a part of the “shared sacrifice”, despite the fact that the top 1% of all income earners (a group starting at $380,354/year and including millions of small businesses that file taxes under personal returns…hardly millionaires and billionaires) paid 38% of total tax revenue, while the bottom 50% paid only 2.7%. The top 5% starts at $159,619 and accounts for 58.7% of taxes paid.

Yet, just as many conservatives easily predicted when the stimulus bill was passed, Obama and the Democrats have run up trillions of dollars in new spending and debt, and after their profligate orgy of irresponsible spending, they now demand taxpayers pony up (predominantly high producers since we can’t ask the bottom 50% to help pay for government benefits they enjoy, now can we?) and pay the bill for them. They are furious at the Republicans who stand in their way, like a selfish teenager that has maxed out the credit card and throws a fit because mommy and daddy won’t increase their allowance.

Though he couches his rhetoric in a professorial, mellifluous voice, his speeches are an odious amalgam of half-truths, omissions, distortions and outright lies. Yet with the fourth estate and its tingly-legged benefactors all too willing to obfuscate on his behalf, the American people rarely get the unvarnished truth. For example, Obama has used scare tactics to stir up anger and fear towards Republican intransigence on raising taxes in a weak economy (something which not even John Maynard Keynes would countenance), yet the press refuses to point out that the national debt is now as large as the total U.S. GDP. In other words, you could have the federal government confiscate 100% of all wealth produced in America this year and it would barely pay off the national debt. Of course, that would leave nothing to fund next year’s budget, not to mention the personal needs of 310 million Americans, or the operations of state and local governments; but why quibble over such inconsequential details, right?

Obama, he who lectures us so often on “rejecting false choices”, is engaged in that very method of intellectual deceit. Recently, he painted the issue as one in which Republicans force us to choose between giving tax breaks to corporate jet owners, big oil companies and “millionaires and billionaires” on the one hand, and compromising the safety and future of our children on the other. Or, as he recently opined, he doesn’t want, and won’t accept “…a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans.

Curiously, Obama, the man most responsible for the rhetorical excoriation of the Bush tax cuts, took full advantage of every one on his own 2010 income tax return, leaving him with an effective tax rate of 26.2%, far below the 39.6% tax rate that he is advocating. It is also noteworthy that Obama did not take advantage of the government’s program to voluntarily contribute additional money specifically for the purpose of reducing the national debt, which he could have done by visiting the website www.pay.gov. Also, for the man who touts shared sacrifice, the man living in the taxpayer funded White House and riding in the world’s most luxurious corporate jet as he travels back and forth to his myriad campaign fundraisers, he seems a little selfish. In 2010 he reported adjusted gross income of $5.5 million, yet his charitable contributions were a downright miserly $329,100, a mere 5.98% of his income. Surely someone as wealthy as he, living in taxpayer-funded luxury, could afford to pony up more than that, couldn’t he? But as is typical of liberal “charity”, is begins and ends with government confiscation of OPM (other people’s money).

Before we continue the rape and pillaging of the most productive people in our economy, maybe we could free up some money by eliminating some of that waste, fraud and abuse we are always hearing about. Personally, I’d like to see the elimination of the federal Department of Education, a black hole swallowing $77 billion in taxpayer money last year, and that on top of the $100 billion received through the stimulus law. In the four decades since its creation and despite receiving hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in funding, the DoE has shown no statistical improvement in student achievement over that time.

That is probably still politically untouchable for now though. So how about a few most can agree on; like the $71,000 spent at Wake Forest University to study the effects of cocaine on monkeys, or the $181,000 spent to see how cocaine enhances the sex drive of the Japanese quail. Or the $500,000 spent by the U.S. Forest Service to replace windows at the Mount St. Helen’s Visitors Center…which has been closed for years. Or the $3.4 million Florida received to build tunnels for turtles to cross underneath busy highways. Or the $1.9 million for the California Academy of Sciences to photograph ants in Madagascar. Or the $762,362 to develop interactive dance software in North Carolina. Or the $89,298 spent in Boynton, OK to replace new sidewalks with newer sidewalks…which leads to a ditch. Or the $357,710 to give a facelift to the Fitchburg Furnace in Kentucky, which was abandoned five years after it was built and then sat unused for 140 years (this money was granted on top of the $661,000 given by the federal government in 2004, money which was largely wasted due to “bad stewardship” according to the treasurer of Friends of Fitchburg). Or the $39.7 million in stimulus dollars spent to upgrade the offices and parking spaces of politicians in Kansas?

The list of such gross abuse of taxpayer funds is virtually endless. Yet like spoiled children, Obama and the Democrats refuse to let the spending party end, demanding more money from taxpayers and vilifying the very people that work hard, take risks and invest their money to improve the lives of themselves and their families, and in doing so improve the lives of their fellow citizens.

Obama and the Democrats know they can only achieve their goals by deception, by dividing the American people and pitting them against each other. Here’s hoping that Americans won’t be suckered into the “false choice” again, and that we’ll give Obama and the Democrats what they truly deserve…forced retirement in November 2012.


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