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April 17, 2008

Lamb of Chicago Lying His Ass Off (Again.) [jdub]

Charlie Gibson asked Barack Obama about the capital gains tax:

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected? OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

O RLY?


NY Post, Mar. 28: “Barack: I’d hike capital gains”

Obama said increasing the tax would add funds for the federal Treasury, allow for infrastructure investments like broadband Internet lines, and provide tax cuts to middle-class families.

Of course, later in that same spiel last night, he managed to work himself around to pretending he hadn’t heard or understood Gibson:

[OBAMA:] …That's how we got an additional $4 trillion worth of debt under George Bush. That is helping to undermine our economy. And it's going to change when I'm president of the United States.

GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax,
the revenues go up.

Oh. Right. Change the subject!

OBAMA: Well, that might happen, or it might not. It depends on what's happening on Wall Street and how business is going. I think the biggest problem that we've got on Wall Street right now is the fact that we got have a housing crisis that this president has not been attentive to and that it took John McCain three tries before he got it right.

And, what, exactly, is a tax?

OBAMA: [Having said he didn’t want to raise taxes on people making under 250,000 a year] Now, most firefighters, most teachers, you know, they're not making over $100,000 a year. In fact, only 6 percent of the population does. And I've also said that I'd be willing to look at exempting people who are making slightly above that. But understand the alternative is that, because we're going to have fewer workers to more retirees, if we don't do anything on Social Security, then those benefits will effectively be cut because we'll be running out of money. GIBSON: But, Senator, but that's a tax. That's a tax... OBAMA: Well, no, no, look... GIBSON: ... on people under $250,000. OBAMA: Let me finish my point here, Charlie. Senator Clinton said she certainly wouldn't do this, this was a bad idea.

These “gaffes,” these inconsistencies, aren’t trivial. They’re the mark of a mind, of a fundamental approach to politics, which has no deeper logical underpinning that a vague notion of “fairness” mobilized in the service of a grasping statism. The reason Obama can’t keep his story straight is that to him, ultimately, things like economics and property rights are secondary to the necessity of empowering the state. It’s nothing so coherent as a philosophy; it’s a grubby, grasping impulse which justifies, a priori, the lie it demands at any given moment.

So when he wants to sound like a postideological technocrat, taxes must be raised to increase revenues. But when that ground evaporates, he has to return to the traditional democractic playbook and extol the virtues of class war and envy.

It is only important that taxes be raised; it is not important why.

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posted by xgenghisx at 09:49 AM

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