President Obama decided that New Years Eve, as the Senate was considering the fiscal cliff bill, would be a good time to mock Republican voters and the Representatives they elected. So he organized a campaign style rally complete with a cheering audience of White House staffers. He claimed the purpose of this media event was to:
emphasize to Congress, and that members of both parties understand that all across America this is a pressing concern on people’s minds.
Really Mr. President? Senators and Congressmen didn’t know The People were concerned about massive tax hikes. He went on to remind Congress of one of the deceptive slogans from his recent campaign:
Last year, in 2011, we started reducing the deficit through $1 trillion in spending cuts.
Of course the Congressmen and Senators he claimed to be speaking to know this is an even more deceptive form of the usual Washington double talk. The “cuts” were tiny, incremental reductions in previously scheduled spending growth, spread over ten years. In other words, we politicians of 2013 promise that the politicians of 2015 or 2019 will spend a tiny bit less than we said they would spend yesterday.
But even that gives the President more credit than he deserves because 80% of his “cuts” were completely fictitious “savings” from not continuing military operations in Iraq (already over) and Afghanistan (scheduled to end next year) for another eight years. And, not only did Obama have the chutzpa to claim to have “cut” war spending that was never budgeted or even contemplated, during the second presidential debate he actually proposed:
let’s take the money that we’ve been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild America, roads, bridges schools.
The chart shows Obama’s own budget plans for the next four years after deducting his $1 trillion in “cuts”. The increases in his first term were the largest since the Korean War in the early 1950s. His budget calls for even larger increases in his second term.
Obama’s media event went on with a sneering comment calculated to humiliate Republicans for having compromised their principles to vote for “The Deal” that he demanded:
Keep in mind that just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Obviously, the agreement that’s currently discussed would raise those rates, and raise them permanently.
But most arrogant and astounding of all, Obama went on to raise the stakes before the fiscal cliff bill was even written:
Now, if Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone — and you hear that sometimes coming from them…If they think that’s going to be the formula for how we solve this thing, then they’ve another thing coming… At least as long as I’m president. And I’m going to be president for the next four years, I hope.
So, as far as Barack Obama is concerned, the tax increases just enacted are only the beginning. He will demand more. His previous claim that he was only keeping a campaign promise, to extract a limited tax increase from a limited number of to bracket taxpayers turned out to be empty words quickly forgotten.