Pres. Obama, “Lecturer-in-Chief”
President Obama’s speech on Wednesday was wrought with so many misrepresentations that we felt it needed to be dealt with almost line by line. Let’s see how many times we have to say his answer is more spending.
“Many people are still looking for work or looking for a job that pays more. Families are wondering how they’d deal with a broken refrigerator or a busted transmission, or how they’re going to finance their kids’ college education, and they’re also worrying about the possibility of layoffs.”
These problems have existed for as long as there have been refrigerators, transmissions and college. This is not unique to the times.
“Today, our administration is trying to take those steps, so we’re reviewing government regulations so that we can fix any rules in place that are an unnecessary burden on businesses.”
He follows up during the question and answer portion:
“What I have done — and this is unprecedented, by the way, no administration’s done this before — is I’ve said to each agency, don’t just look at current regulations or don’t just look at future regulations, regulations that we’re proposing, let’s go backwards and look at regulations that are already on the books, and if they don’t make sense, let’s get rid of them,”
This is completely inaccurate. As the Associated Press points out, every President since Jimmy Carter has ordered a review of regulations. President Obama almost seems to allow businesses to look at regulations he’s proposing to see if they work. We know they got rid of the 1099 provision of Obamacare, but how many of his administration’s burdensome regulations do you really believe he’ll allow to be revoked?
“We’re working with the private sector to get small businesses and start-ups the financing they need to grow and expand. And because of the partnership that we’ve launched with businesses and community colleges, 500,000 workers will be able to receive the right skills and training for manufacturing jobs in companies all across America — jobs that companies are looking to fill.”
“Right now, Congress can send me a bill that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea”
Both chambers have passed the bill, Mr. President. But like most bills you are eager to sign, this one is badly flawed.
“Right now, Congress could send me a bill that puts construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges –- not by having government fund and pick every project, but by providing loans to private companies and states and local governments on the basis of merit and not politics.”
Not having government fund every project, but by providing loans? How is that not government funding the project and how is that not a SECOND STIMULUS? More spending.
“Right now, Congress can advance a set of trade agreements that would allow American businesses to sell more of their goods and services to countries in Asia and South America -– agreements that would support tens of thousands of American jobs while helping those adversely affected by trade.”
Mr. President, you JUST released those trade agreements last week after holding them hostage in favor of more spending on a failed unemployment benefits program that only helps a small percentage of workers. You can’t blame Congress for these agreements not getting passed, you were the one holding them hostage.
“And right now, we could give middle-class families the security of knowing that the tax cut I signed in December will be there for one more year.”
By tax cuts, he means the tax increases he avoided. Conservatives want all the tax cuts to be permanent; it’s the President who wants some of them to expire.
“So there are a number of steps that my administration is taking”
What steps are those? He didn’t list any of them.
“Many of these ideas have been tied up in Congress for some time.”
Not true. The trade agreements were released to Congress last week.
“We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service. And we can’t just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. So we’re going to need to look at the whole budget, as I said several months ago. And we’ve got to eliminate waste wherever we find it and make some tough decisions about worthy priorities.”
We can’t get there by raising taxes. Period. As we’ve pointed out before, even taking 100% of the income from the top 10% of earners won’t reach $4 trillion. Even taking 100% of the top 1% will only get you $938 billion, so even just making the richest Americans “pay a little more” won’t make a dent. Tax increases won’t solve our spending problem, and they’re not necessary. Government revenue is down because of the economy, not because of low taxes (which aren’t the lowest in the past 50 years, as the President likes to claim). Before the recession, the current tax structure was bringing in the historical average of 18.5% of GDP. It’s intellectually dishonest to claim that taxes need to be raised. He said later, during the Q&A section:
“Every single observer who’s not an elected official, who’s not a politician, says we can’t reduce our deficit in the scale and scope that we need to without having a balanced approach that looks at everything,”
Actually, Ben Bernake disagrees. He says you can balance the budget without raising taxes.
“And that means trimming the defense budget, while still meeting our security needs.”
The President just called for the removal of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan while committing us to a third war in Libya. Cutting an already underfunded military while straining our current troops is not safe for our country or the proud men and women of our military.
“It means we’ll have to tackle entitlements, as long as we keep faith with seniors and children with disabilities by maintaining the fundamental security that Medicare and Medicaid provide.”
House Republicans have put a plan on the table to reform entitlements. The President doesn’t have one. So, in other words, don’t cut Medicare and Medicaid. He says later during the Q&A:
“But I’ve been willing to say we need to see where we can reduce the cost of health care spending and Medicare and Medicaid in the out-years, not by shifting costs on to seniors, as some have proposed, but rather by actually reducing those costs.”
Anyone can SAY they’re going to deal with entitlements, it’s actually doing something that is impressive. What he means is instead of shifting the costs, he’s going to allow an unelected board of bureaucrats to deny costly care and treatments. That’s what his IPAB is all about.
“And, yes, we’re going to have to tackle spending in the tax code.”
This is another code for tax hikes. President Obama and the left believe that tax breaks equal government spending because, in their minds, the government owns every penny you make and only allows you to get back so much of their money. If the President were serious about this issue, he’d move on corporate tax reform, as opposed to highlighting gimmicky tax breaks that sound good in a sound bite.
“The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners.”
As Heritage Action pointed out, the targeted tax increases amount to $418 billion dollars. Also, the President mentioned the “corporate jet owners” 6 times during his press conference. He claims that the tax break he referred to in his speech is from 1987 and not the one extended in his stimulus plan. So tax breaks for corporate jet owners are okay, so long as his administration allowed them. He’s picking and choosing small tax breaks in order to gin up class warfare. Most of the tax breaks for oil and gas companies he keeps talking about are tax breaks that many different industries enjoy. His basic premise is to target tax breaks for people and companies he doesn’t like and eliminate those.
“It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit. And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we’ve got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.”
You get that? Either millionaires and billionaires give up more of their money, or kids don’t go to college, new medical innovations don’t get discovered, our food will be uneatable, and seniors don’t get their Medicare. Those are our two options. In President Obama’s mind, hundreds of thousands of students’ college tuition, all the advancements in medicine, all of our food safety programs, oh, and every entitlement can be funded for just $418 billion dollars. Considering entitlement liabilities alone would cost every household in America $500,000 dollars, and there are over 300 million people in the country, I doubt very much that $418 billion can cover it.
“So the bottom line is this: Any agreement to reduce our deficit is going to require tough decisions and balanced solutions. And before we ask our seniors to pay more for health care, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.”
There he goes again. Rather than present real solutions, the President chose to demonize an industry and a method of transportation. That is not how we’re going to solve this crisis. It does no good to have a President who only chastises the opposite party and then claims everyone needs to come together.