Nancy Pelosi's Emotional (Zero Sum) Tax Game

Jan 06, 2013

Some politicians suffer from the delusion that they have a monopoly on the definition of "fairness." Nancy Pelosi is one of them. An expert at framing arguments on her terms, like her friends in the White House, she encourages Americans to view life through the lens of jealousy and the prism of greed.

In an interview taped on Friday with CBS's Bob Schieffer, she falsely implied that America has only two options: tax the rich more or tax the middle class more. That's it, America! Take your pick! Ms. Arbiter of Truth and Fairness and Goodness In General has laid out the two possibilities, now the ball is in our court. Of course, her interview actually illustrates the left's lack of critical thinking perfectly. Liberals' mantra ought to be: Don't think, just feel.

When asked whether we're done with taxes and revenue and should now concentrate on spending, her emphatic response was:

No, no, no, no. I... I... It is not. The President had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. He took it down to 1.2 as a compromise in this legislation. We get $620 billion in this legislation --- very significant... changing the high end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side. We've already agreed to a trillion dollars in spending cuts.

The left's generosity with the private sector's wealth is overwhelming. And the trillion dollars of spending cuts? Liberal promised spending cuts are highly unlikely to ever materialize, as history has shown. If they do, liberals are doing their darndest to ensure our defense is gutted alone, barely touching entitlements.

Schieffer probed again: "So what are you talking about? Are you talking about more taxes?"

A true liberal tax hike clarion call would be incomplete without gratuitously bashing the oil and gas industries, which Heritage explains, "supply the American people a reliable, affordable energy source."

Pelosi responded:

We're talking about looking at the tax code. Putting everything on the table from the standpoint of closing loopholes and we know that we can do that. Special subsidies for big oil for example --- $38 billion right there. But again, not to take things in isolation, just to say, how much more revenue to can we get as we go forward.

Of course, she won't mention the tax credits and subsidies received by green energy companies because that would require her to think critically about the differences between subsidies received by oil companies and those received by renewable energy companies.

Heritage explains that comparing wind tax credits and subsidies to subsidies to oil companies, as the liberals attempt to do, is not an apples to apples comparison. Why? The subsidy for wind, for example, amounts to 40 percent or more of the wholesale price of wind energy. "If crude oil were subsidized at the same rate as wind energy, the oil companies would receive $50 for every barrel of oil produced."

They continue:

How does that compare to the actual subsidies received by the oil industry?
The most repeated number is $4 billion per year. But, Heritage's Nick Loris and Curtis Dubay make clear that this number is way bigger than the actual subsidy. However, even that overstated number works out to only $0.60 per barrel, or barely 1 percent of what wind receives relative to market prices. A more honest estimate of the oil subsidies would be closer to a nickel per barrel, which is one-thousandth the subsidy given to wind.

Hey Nancy Pelosi, good luck having the wind industry survive on just "0.0022 cents ($0.000022) per kilowatt-hour instead of the 1,000-times-larger subsidy they get now."

The next part of the discussion was also dripping with typical liberal rhetoric. Her answer, in response to a question about tax deductions, is just too rich:

My idea of tax reform is to have a comprehensive view. We talked about tax simplification and fairness as something we should be engaged in long before these fights came along. Now we have a chance to do that with a heightened awareness by the public on why we need to do certain things. So let's put on the table what it is that we can in order to increase revenue. And we changed the rate --- the high end tax rate --- 39.6. Very important step. And again, there's much more that we can do by just subjecting it to the scrutiny of what is bringing in revenue, of what is creating growth?! And we don't want to hurt that if there's some tax provisions that create growth; we want to support that.

By "comprehensive" she means soaking the rich and completely ignoring spending cuts. By "fairness" she means wealth redistribution and class warfare and jealousy. By "heightened awareness" she means full throttle liberal brainwashing. By "very important step" she means just that --- for all the aforementioned goals and destroying conservatives. By "scrutiny" she means emotion. By "creating growth"... well that one's just inexplicable... but it feels good!

Schieffer pressed on about whether her ideas entail a further tax hike.

One thing I'm not talking about is bringing in more at the expense of the middle class... To the extent that you diminished the tax cut - the tax change at the high end -- you would have to claw down into the middle class to get more revenue.

That is a blatant lie, and it's totally deceptive. She wants to scare us into believing that if the government doesn't tax high income earners more, they must tax the middle class more.

Conservatives offer the real solution which entails reversing the federal government's trend of excessive spending. And don't be fooled. As our communications director, Dan Holler, explains, the left is vague, at best, in defining what the middle class is. He notes:

Case in point, left-wing heart throb and new Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren refused to define what constituted the middle class, saying, "it's not a numbers issue." Guess what middle're next.

And, actually, you won't have to wait long to feel the effects; look carefully at your paycheck on January 15th, and you'll be in the company of many disgruntled Obama supporters who are seeing the light on his real tax agenda.

Moreover, Heritage proposed the Saving the American Dream plan, which focuses on getting Washington's heinous spending under control and implementing a flat tax and simple tax system.

In response to a final question about whether the upper classes will have to pay more taxes she responded that "that's not off the table." She added, "I'm not going into particulars... Frankly, I'm fairly agnostic about what it could be, now that we have injected some fairness into the process."

Well, her agnosticism is code for "I have no idea what I'm talking about." And, frankly, we don't want you "injecting" the process with anything, Nancy.

She gives a final below the belt jab at oil, too:

We've talked about subsidies for big oil. What is the justification when oil companies are making a trillion dollars over that same period of time? So again, justify your existence if you are a special tax break, again all of it not to reach down to the middle class.

Sorry Nancy, talking about how successful oil companies are isn't helping you. It just means that it is an energy resource that Americans rely on and that these companies thrive in the free market because there is a demand for their product. Moreover, as Heritage reminds us:

In many cases, what the President and anti-oil crusaders label an oil subsidy is neither a subsidy nor a tax treatment specific to the oil and gas industry. These are broad tax policies that apply to many industries. When the Administration takes aim at these provisions specifically in the oil and gas industry, it is essentially a targeted tax hike.

We're still waiting for you to justify your presence in Congress, Mrs. Pelosi.