Pres. Obama “Twitterer-in-Chief” (part 2)

Picking up where we left off on President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall from Wednesday, when answering a question about collective bargaining:

“The first thing I want to emphasize is that collective bargaining is the reason why the vast majority of Americans enjoy a minimum wage, enjoy weekends, enjoy overtime.  So many things that we take for granted are because workers came together to bargain with their employers.”

No one disputes that unions served a purpose – in the past. But these days, their demands cause businesses to pay more to them than non-union workers, making it more expensive for companies to do business and more expensive for states who constantly have to give more money to union interests. Public sector unions cause state and local government budgets to explode, and it’s the taxpayers who end up hurting. Robust healthcare and pension plans are bankrupting many states.

“We froze federal pay for federal workers for two years.  Now, that wasn’t real popular, as you might imagine, among federal workers.  On the other hand, we were able to do that precisely because we wanted to prevent layoffs and we wanted to make sure that we sent a signal that everybody is going to have to make some sacrifices, including federal workers.

“By the way, people who work in the White House, they’ve had their pay frozen since I came in, our high-wage folks.  So they haven’t had a raise in two and a half years, and that’s appropriate, because a lot of ordinary folks out there haven’t, either.  In fact, they’ve seen their pay cut in some cases.”

Not according to Gawker, who points out that most White House staffers who have been there for more than a year got raises of about 8% of their salary. The average raise for the private sector was 3%. So no, Mr. President, you have not frozen salaries.

“We have provided at least 16 tax cuts to small businesses who have needed a lot of help and have been struggling…”

Along with those “tax cuts,” the President has also piled on thousands of new regulatory burdens and consistently threatened to raise their taxes.

Responding to a question about getting Republicans to raise the debt ceiling during the lame duck session when the tax cuts were extended:

“We only had a few short weeks to deal with a lot of complicated issues, including repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” dealing with a START treaty to reduce nuclear weapons, and come to terms with a budget.”

So, Congress didn’t have time to deal with the debt ceiling because they had more important things to deal with, like DADT and START. Oh, and remember how Democrats also passed a budget during the lame duck session? Neither do we.

“In exchange, we were able to get this payroll tax that put $1,000 — tax cut that put $1,000 in the pockets of every American, which would help economic growth and jobs.”

Did you notice the job creation?

“The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners, or oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars because the price of gasoline has gone up so high.”

No additional carve outs are being asked for in the debt limit negotiations. Republicans want to avoid tax increases, especially on cherry-picked industries simply because the administration does not like them. You never hear the left talking about removing tax breaks for Hollywood and celebrities.

“We need to reduce corporate loopholes.  We need to reduce discretionary spending on programs that aren’t working.”

He wants to reduce corporate loopholes and at the same time add new ones (see the NAT GAS Act). He also held job-creating free trade agreements hostage in order to continue spending on a program that isn’t working (see Trade Adjustment Assistance).

“And so we actually now have the lowest tax rates since the 1950s.  Our tax rates are lower now than they were under Ronald Reagan.  They’re lower than they were under George Bush — senior or George Bush, junior.  They’re lower than they were under Bill Clinton.”

This is intellectually dishonest. The current top tax rate is 35%. Under Reagan that rate was 28%. We do not have the lowest tax rates since the 1950s.

“We’re still going to have to make some tough decisions about defense spending…”

As always, the President’s plan to “save” our country is to cut back on our military and tax the job creators.

“And given the size of the housing market, no federal program is going to be able to solve the housing problem.”

If only the President believed this about the health care industry, and the financial industry…

“If all we do is just go back to the pre-Bush tax cut rates for the top income brackets, for millionaires and billionaires, that would raise hundreds of billions of dollars.  And if you combine it with the cuts we’ve already proposed, we could solve our deficit and our debt problems.”

The President needs to check his math. Simply raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans will not solve our spending problem.

“And I just have to say, when people say, job-killing tax increases, that’s what Obama is proposing, we’re not going to — you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.  And the facts are that a modest increase for wealthy individuals is not shown to have an adverse impact on job growth.”

Raising taxes on job creators, regardless of the economic climate, is not the way to create jobs or solve our spending problem.

“I mean, we can test the two theories.  You had what happened during the ‘90s — right?  Taxes for wealthy individuals were somewhat higher, businesses boomed, the economy boomed, great job growth.  And then the 2000s, when taxes were cut on wealthy individuals, jobs didn’t grow as fast, businesses didn’t grow as fast.  I mean, it’s not like we haven’t tried what these other folks are pitching.  It didn’t work.  And we should go with what works.”

Really? He’s saying the Reagan Recovery didn’t happen. It’s amazing how liberals believe that it was because of the tax rates that the 90s boomed. They seem to disregard the fact that there were no wars (we weren’t attacked like 9/11), the dot-com boom with the creation of the internet, and numerous other technology industries created because of that.

“But one of the things that’s become clear is, is that we need to accelerate our basic research in ethanol and other biofuels that are made from things like woodchips and algae as opposed to just focusing on corn, which is probably the least efficient energy producer of these various other approaches.”

So stop ethanol subsidies that deal with corn, but subsidize other types of fuel. This is why American’s don’t trust this President when he says taxing the rich would pay off the deficit, because they know he’ll just take that money and spend it on something new.

“I will say that today, welfare payments are not the big driver of our deficit or our debt.”

No, but under President Obama, the number of people on welfare and food stamps have dramatically increased.

So what have we learned from this “Twitter Town Hall?” Nothing new. The President continues to believe that the answer to all problems is more government, more spending, and higher taxes. Until that changes, or until we have a new resident at the White House – which will happen much quicker – real reform won’t happen.

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