Incumbent's Ad Full of Tired Rhetoric Produces Little Movement Forward
In his latest attack ad, President Barack Obama faces the camera and delivers quite a medley of Orwellian word-welding. He gave no specifics on how he would help the 23 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, and didn’t even mention the 15 million Americans who have been forced to go on food stamps under his watch.
He begins the ad with a trite attack, stating, “Gov. Romney believes that, with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he’d double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”
First of all, no free market economist in history has ever proposed a theory where, by slashing high income tax rates, the money “trickles down” to the poor. I challenge anyone to name and quote a single economist who has done so.
Second, former President George W. Bush cut taxes for everyone. He raised the income tax-paying threshold so that lower income people would be relieved from paying. He also increased the tax burden on the wealthiest Americans.
According to Treasury Department figures, under former President Bill Clinton the top 25 percent of earners paid 80 percent of all federal income taxes, under Bush that number jumped to 84 percent. The overall tax burden of the scorned 1 percent was raised from 38.4 percent to 39.1 percent. The burden of the bottom 50 percent decreased from 3.4 percent to 3.1 percent.
Obama is peddling the beloved liberal myth that Bush was a big deregulator. Dubya talked the talk of a free-marketer, but walked the walk of a Keynesian. According to Reason magazine, he added over 90,000 regulators to the federal workforce during his tenure.
Obama continues, “First, we create a million new manufacturing jobs and help businesses double their exports. Give tax breaks to companies that invest in America, not that ship jobs overseas.”
Obama promised these policies in 2008. Why didn’t he deliver when he had a Democratic Congress and a filibuster-proof Senate?
“Second, we cut our oil imports in half and produce more American-made energy, oil, clean-coal, natural gas and new resources like wind, solar and bio-fuels—all while doubling the fuel efficiencies of cars and trucks,” continued Obama.
This is nonsense. Obama blocked the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created thousands of American jobs. Labor unions begged him to approve the project, but he ignored them. Domestic oil production on public lands has decreased under Obama. In March, the Interior Department reported that drilling on federal lands dropped 14 percent in 2011.
Energy independence can only be achieved if we get our money back on track. To do this, we need to drill. Going green is going to take green.
“Third, we insure that we maintain the best workforce in the world by preparing 100,000 additional math and science teachers,” Obama continues. “Training 2 million Americans with the job skills they need at our community colleges. Cutting the growth of tuition in half and expanding student aid so more Americans can afford it.”
This is another retread. Obama said the same thing when he was selling the first stimulus package to the public. It passed and Americans got the most anemic economic recovery in seventy-years. The most recent assessment from the Congressional Budget Office has put the cost of the stimulus at $833 billion. Despite the colossal cost, the economy only grew 1.3 percent last quarter.
“Fourth, a balanced plan to reduce our deficit by four trillion dollars over the next decade on top of the trillion in spending we’ve already cut. I’d ask the wealthy to pay a little more, and as we end the war in Afghanistan, let’s apply half the savings to pay down our debt and use the rest for some nation building right here at home.”
At a July 2008 rally, candidate Obama called Bush’s debt “unpatriotic.” But as president, Obama has increased deficit spending by $5.3 trillion. Bush only increased it by only $2 trillion. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that our national debt has topped $16 trillion. Obama has zero credibility on deficit reduction.
Obama concludes by saying, “It’s time for a new economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. Read my plan. Compare it to Gov. Romney’s and decide for yourself.”
What on earth is “economic patriotism?” Is it forcibly plundering the people’s pocketbooks under penalty of imprisonment? Is it dictating Americans’ economic activities? That is what our Founding Fathers fought against!
America has had enough of Obama’s rhetoric. With this ad, he had a chance to offer Americans some real solutions, but instead only offered retreads from his last campaign and poll-tested platitudes plucked from the clearance bin at Slogans-R-Us.