President Obama’s press conference today can be summed up with one phrase: job-killing tax cuts.
Yes, he really said that. The architect of double-digit unemployment, whose crony capitalist pals at companies like Solyndra and Cisco are shedding jobs like mad, thinks letting the private sector keep more of its own money will somehow kill jobs.
It was an epic blunder, the kind of sound bite that becomes part of a President’s immortal legacy. He looked flustered and desperate when he said it. He’s grasping at any possible reason to grab more cash and more power, and this is the best he could do while trying to think on his feet.
Of course there was more blather about “shared sacrifice,” a focus-group-tested magic spell that falls especially flat coming from a President whose good buddy Jeffrey Immelt runs a company that paid zero dollars in taxes on $14.2 billion in profits. Other Obama cronies have made huge fortunes during his recession, but since the wasteful “alternative energy” ventures that vacuumed up all those juicy subsidies never had sustainable business plans, they’re all detonating in a shower of pink slips. And by the way, $24 billion of Obama’s “stimulus” money went to tax cheats. But by all means, let’s give these geniuses more of our money to spend as they see fit.
Real “shared sacrifice” doesn’t involve seizing more funds from the small minority of the people who pay the vast majority of our taxes. It would involve asking tax-eaters to make do with less, and requiring the people who don’t pay any taxes to finally start pitching in.
For all of Obama’s whining about the evils of Tax Cuts For The Rich – he’s back to describing people who make over $200,000 per year as “millionaires” – the one tax cut that demonstrably has reduced government revenue is the one he keeps boasting about: his payroll tax cut, which is projected to reduce government revenues by $196 billion this year. That’s more than the total value of all the stuff Obama is threatening to defund if the debt ceiling is not raised, pointedly including Social Security.
He tried to have both his subsidy cake and deficit-hawk peas, by insisting that we “eliminate tax breaks for people who don’t need them, and don’t create jobs.” If he ever honestly tried to do that, his top contributors would destroy him.
As a minor stylistic aside, Obama actually did use layer cakes as part of a weird metaphor to explain why nobody can ever fix the national debt, since it has various “layers,” and some of them are apparently beyond human understanding. This will give rise to a flood of “let them eat cake” jokes that he probably could have done without.
As always, Obama flatly refused to “get into specifics,” but felt free to criticize the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge on the basis of “the numbers.” His new rhetorical tactic is pretending that Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, which passed the House with almost unanimous Republican support, does not exist, but he’ll carefully review a real budget proposal when he sees one. It’s amazing that any of the political people who work for him signed off on this tactic. It makes him look ridiculous.
Actually, the press would be doing America a great service if they flatly refused to cover any more Obama press conferences until he releases a concrete proposal with real numbers. They have reason to be miffed at the President, because he fired a few shots across their bow, grousing vaguely about press coverage of the budget debate and absurdly claiming that he never watches news coverage of himself. Sorry, Media, but I think your boyfriend Barry is breaking up with you. I know it hurts. We’re all here for you.
Obama made a sham of his lofty claim to be above paying attention to media coverage just moments later, when he manufactured a claim that “80% of the American people support a balanced approach that includes revenues and cuts.” Funny, polls didn’t matter a bit to him when he was ramming ObamaCare down our throats, over the objections of substantial majorities.
One of the funniest moments in the press conference came when Obama declared that the “worst possibility” before us would be raising the debt ceiling without making progress on the deficit. Who was it that initially demanded a “clean” debt ceiling increase, again?
There were also big laughs when a reporter demanded specifics of what programs Obama would be willing to cut, and the President dismissively replied, “We could have a discussion right here about what the numbers look like.” Um, no, we can’t, sir, because you just said you were “not going to get into specifics.” Sometimes it’s hard to hear what Obama says, over the sound of your brain crying.
Alas, the rest of the presser was more somber. Only a few months ago, in his State of the Union address, President Obama called America to a new “Sputnik moment.” It seems our Sputnik moment is over, because according to the President, we have an astonishing $2 trillion worth of “infrastructure” that needs to be rebuilt. He earlier spoke of “fighting one war and winding down another,” which curiously omits both his Libyan war and the massive surprise attack that did all that damage to our infrastructure, sometime after the $1 trillion he already spent on building it with his first “stimulus” package.
The basic absurdity of a man posturing as a serious deficit hawk while babbling about spending more trillions on “infrastructure” is only icing on the layer cake presented today. This press conference was the best campaign commercial Republicans have ever had. The choice before Americans is a future where Barack Obama and his friends get very, very rich, while the rest of us get lectured about the need to “sacrifice” more, and a mountain of crushing debt looms over our heads… or a world of greater liberty, and the government restraint necessary to achieve it. This President offers nothing better than tired class-war rhetoric, and vague promises of hypothetical, detail-free “restraint” that no one has any reason to believe.