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April 17, 2011

Obama's Plan To Have A Plan Relies 60% on Tax Increases (But That's Not How You Get Him)

Via Hot Air, Pethokoukis looks beyond Obama's dishonest words to the hard numbers.

He claimed his plan was 3:1 in favor of spending cuts to tax increases; in fact it's closer to 2:3 in favor of tax hikes.

As I keep saying, this is not how you get him though. Oh, this helps. The dishonesty -- because it shows he's not about hope and change but deceit and socialism.

But the American public continues to think (as they think that foreign aid is a major spending requirement) that "raising taxes" just means raising taxes by 5% or 10% on the truly rich, and then everything will be just dandy.

Now, the public has a reluctance to do that, because they understand that higher tax rates tend to lead to a worse economy and are somewhat unfair in penalizing success, but if the options are between a tax hike on the rich, which they are reluctant to agree to, and reforms to elder welfare, which they are exceedingly reluctant to agree to, they'll choose the former, ten out of ten times.

They won't do so gladly but they will do it.

Which is why the drumbeat has to be sounded that only tax hikes on the middle class is a plausible way to raise the excessive size of the government Barack Obama is determined to have.

That they will not agree to.

Republicans must, must, must accept, for hypothetical purposes, the existence of Obama's proposed tax hikes, and show they are not nearly enough to balance the books, and ask, over and over, "And then what?"

The public likes easy options. Everyone does. Unfortunately, they also like easy options which in fact are not even options. This tendency accounts for their desire to balance the budget by cutting the 1% item of foreign aid. Sure, foreign aid should be cut, but this is not a serious plan to reduce the deficit, unless you define "serious" as "along the order of one half of a percent."

It's only when they're disabused over convenient evasions and happy illusions will they focus on the real options, which do in fact involve pain, whether it's Ryan's pain or Obama's pain.

Obama's a politician (and nothing else -- not a statesman, for certain, and not even, I don't think, a particularly good man), and of course he is selling the easy but illusory "solution" of tax hikes on other people as the nation's panacea.

Ryan's painful prescription looks very unappealing indeed compared to Obama's supposedly pain-free platitudes.

We can only win (on this or on anything) if the public is made aware of the facts -- that Obama's real plan is extremely painful; he's just lying about what that pain is.

Either the pain will be significant tax hikes on the middle class -- from 25% to 35% (about what the rich are taxed at now) -- or hyperinflation, default, and depression.

Those are the actual options Obama is offering. A or B. He is lying that there is some Magic Choice C that avoids both.

There is a choice c, but it's not magic -- it comes at the expense of touching the hitherto untouchable elder welfare programs. There is going to be some actual reductions in benefits here, but not really all that much, because market forces will tend to deliver more for less.

But all choices on the table involve pain. Obama's just lying about it, whereas Ryan is upfront about it.

If the public thinks they can tax the rich and not suffer themselves, they will, in a heartbeat. Of course they will. Who wouldn't?

Except for those committed ideologically to freedom, a distressingly small group, everyone else would choose "inflict pain on someone else, not me."

If Obama is able to dishonestly sell that as an option, the public will buy it, at least until the New Depression hits.

And what next. And what next. And what next. It must be the GOP's mantra.

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posted by Ace at 12:31 PM

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