For at least a year, President Obama has argued for a “balanced approach” to fixing the economy. He claims to want to increase revenue while lowering expenditures. The problem lies in the fact that although he has a real penchant for raising taxes, he doesn’t have a clue how to cut the costs of our bloated government.
This week, we learned that although Obama talks “balanced approach,” he has no intention of touching spending.
We got our first hint Tuesday, when he met with small business owners — a very select group of small business owners. The more conservative business groups like the National Federation of Independent Business and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council weren’t invited.
“It’s becoming clear that the president only wants to hear certain views on the issue,” NFIB spokesman Kevan Chapman told The Business Journal. “We’d welcome the opportunity to allow him to hear from some of our members.”
Obama’s select group made it easier, however, for the president to espouse his oft-repeated “soak the rich” message.
Any hint we received from Tuesday’s meeting was confirmed Wednesday, when Obama met with taxpayers and we heard him repeat for about the thousandth time his favorite phrase: “Fair share, fair shot, same rules.”
Even The New York Times took note of where the president was heading:
As the president and Congress hurtle toward a reckoning on the highest federal budget deficit in generations, Mr. Obama says he wants a “balanced” approach to restoring the nation’s fiscal order. But the high-profile public campaign he has been waging in recent days has focused almost entirely on the tax side of the equation, with scant talk about his priorities when it comes to curbing spending.
And just what would Obama’s $82 billion tax hike on the wealthy buy us?
It would give us 8.5 days of federal spending. Or it could pay four months’ interest on the national debt. It would’ve paid for just under a 10th of the 2009 “stimulus.” It could pay 6.6 percent of our Social Security/Medicare costs in 2012. It could prevent one month of borrowing per year.
As conservatives have preached for years, we don’t have a revenue problem — we have a spending problem, and that’s where our priorities have to lie.
Liberals like the president are tone-deaf to this maxim. As the Times article concludes, “Obama evidently sees no percentage in talking in detail about spending cuts, acutely aware that his liberal base is unenthusiastic about paring back entitlement programs. Senator Richard J. Durbin, a longtime Illinois ally and the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said this week that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should not be part of current budget talks.”
Before the president considers hiking tax rates on the wealthy, he should take note of England’s experience.
According to a recent article in the Telegraph, in the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million. This number fell to 6,000 after Prime Minister Gordon Brown introduced the new 50 percent top rate of income tax. That’s right, almost two-thirds of England’s millionaires left the country to avoid the tax hike.
As a result, Britain lost not only the tax revenue from the millionaires who skipped the country, but also from the lost jobs they provided. As revenues sank, unemployment rose — not a formula for a healthy economy.
In response, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., produced the following video road map for real bipartisan tax reform: