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Obama Plays Chicken [Thomas Sowell]
National Review ^ | 12/5/2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 12/05/2012 11:09:32 AM PST by Servant of the Cross

His priority is to increase government, and he’ll sacrifice the economy for it.

One of the big advantages that President Obama has, as he plays “chicken” with congressional Republicans along the “fiscal cliff,” is that he is a master of the plausible lie, which will never be exposed by the mainstream media — nor, apparently, by the Republicans.

A key lie that has been repeated over and over, largely unanswered, is that President Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” cost the government so much tax revenue that this added to the budget deficit — so that the government cannot afford to allow the cost of letting the Bush tax rates continue for “the rich.”

It sounds very plausible, and constant repetition without a challenge may well be enough to convince the voting public that, if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives does not go along with Barack Obama’s demands for more spending and higher tax rates on the top 2 percent, it just shows that they care more for “the rich” than for the other 98 percent.

What is remarkable is how easy it is to show how completely false Obama’s argument is. That also makes it completely inexplicable why the Republicans have not done so.

The official statistics that show plainly how wrong Barack Obama is can be found in his own “Economic Report of the President” for 2012, on page 411. You can look it up.

You may be able to find a copy of the “Economic Report of the President” for 2012 at your local public library. Or you can buy a hard copy from the Government Printing Office or download an electronic version from the Internet.

Those who find that “a picture is worth a thousand words” need only see the graphs published in the November 30 issue of Investor’s Business Daily.

What both the statistical tables in the “Economic Report of the President” and the graphs in Investor’s Business Daily show is that: (1) Tax revenues went up — not down — after tax rates were cut during the Bush administration, and (2) the budget deficit declined, year after year, after the cuts in tax rates that have been blamed by Obama for increasing the deficit.

Indeed, the New York Times reported in 2006: “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.”

While the New York Times may not have expected this, there is nothing unprecedented about lower tax rates’ leading to higher tax revenues, despite assumptions by many in the media and elsewhere that tax rates and tax revenues automatically move in the same direction. They do not.

The Congressional Budget Office has been embarrassed repeatedly by making projections based on the assumption that tax revenues and tax rates move in the same direction.

This has happened as recently as the George W. Bush administration and as far back as the Reagan administration. Moreover, tax revenues went up when tax rates went down as far back as the Coolidge administration, before there was a Congressional Budget Office to make false predictions.

The bottom line is that Barack Obama’s blaming increased budget deficits on the Bush tax cuts is demonstrably false. What caused the decreasing budget deficits after the Bush tax cuts to suddenly reverse and start increasing was the mortgage crisis. The deficit increased in 2008, followed by a huge increase in 2009.

So it is sheer hogwash that “tax cuts for the rich” caused the government to lose tax revenues. The government gained tax revenues; it did not lose them. Moreover, “the rich” paid a larger amount of taxes, and a larger share of all taxes, after the tax rates were cut.

That is because people change their economic behavior when tax rates are changed, contrary to what the Congressional Budget Office and others seem to assume, and this can stimulate the economy more than a government “stimulus” has done under either Bush or Obama.

Yet there is no need to assume that Barack Obama is mistaken about the way to get the economy out of the doldrums. His top priority has always been increasing the size and scope of government. If that means sacrificing the economy or the truth, it’s no deterrent to Obama. That is why he is willing to play chicken with Republicans along the fiscal cliff.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: chicken; fiscalcliff; obama; sowell
"A key lie that has been repeated over and over, largely unanswered, is that President Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” cost the government so much tax revenue that this added to the budget deficit — so that the government cannot afford to allow the cost of letting the Bush tax rates continue for “the rich.”"

"What is remarkable is how easy it is to show how completely false Obama’s argument is. That also makes it completely inexplicable why the Republicans have not done so."

The only logical conclusion is that Boehner needs to be replaced.

1 posted on 12/05/2012 11:09:38 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: jazusamo

ping.


3 posted on 12/05/2012 11:19:50 AM PST by smoothsailing
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To: Servant of the Cross
Seems to me that Obama has spent signifiant time (in the past) saying that the economy got into trouble because of the huge deficits, and the deficits were caused by Bush's tax cuts. Bad tax cuts! Bad! Bad!

Somewhat more recently, Obama has campaigned on the idea that evil Republicans were conspiring to kill Bush's tax cuts. Those tax cuts are vital to the Middle Class, you know. And Republicans want to end the Bush tax cuts and raise taxes. Bad Republicans! Bad! Bad!

I'm not quite sure what Obama is really saying today, but it doesn't matter. He's prepared to say absolutely anything. He would not recognize the truth if he fell over it. He's only interested in power.

4 posted on 12/05/2012 11:21:01 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Republicans have made themselves useless, toothless, and clueless.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

There is only one party in our government now, the Dems. Republicans are hopelessly split while their leaders wander aimlessly in the land of surrender.

Democrats on the other hand are in lock-step, every bit as solidified as nazis, they don’t buck a single order, don’t question a single vote. They’re there for window dressing only, Obama & Reid are making all the laws and they’re guaranteed that every wish they have will be granted.


5 posted on 12/05/2012 11:22:32 AM PST by Kenny (<p)
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To: Servant of the Cross

>>The only logical conclusion is that Boehner needs to be replaced. >>

Is there any way the House can replace Boehner as Speaker?


6 posted on 12/05/2012 11:24:21 AM PST by kitkat
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To: smoothsailing

Thanks for the ping, Smooth. The list was pinged to this article but with a different title.


7 posted on 12/05/2012 11:27:28 AM PST by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
... different title.

There oughta be a law! :-)

8 posted on 12/05/2012 11:32:28 AM PST by smoothsailing
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To: Servant of the Cross
One of the big advantages that President Obama has, as he plays “chicken” with congressional Republicans along the “fiscal cliff,” is that he is a master of the plausible lie, which will never be exposed by the mainstream media — nor, apparently, by the Republicans.

The GOP-e "leadership" is abominable!! These people are so weak and so spineless that they will not fight FOR America or the Constitution.

Some here blame Boehner (who is, without a doubt, part of the problem), but the biggest issue here is that the entire GOP-E is complicit in the destruction of America and will watch this nation be dragged into the gutter by zero and not say a thing!!

The ONLY way to get them to fight for America is for US to start something that sweeps the nation. They'll see it and, if they can get any political mileage out of it, they'll join in and say it was their idea all along!!

In addition to getting rid of the communist/socialist party (Dems), we need to also get rid of the GOP-E. We "give" them our votes and get NOTHNG in return!! Well, IMO, the bill is overdue and they need to start paying US back for supporting them despite the lack of ANY indication that we are getting any kind of return from them!!

9 posted on 12/05/2012 11:43:04 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: Servant of the Cross
It continues to amaze me how inept the GOP is at getting a point across. For example, ask a lib about the "rich paying their fair share" and then ask them to define what "their fair share" should be. The answers are all over the map, but NO ONE even comes close to suggesting that the top 10% of income earners foot 71% of the federal tax bill, yet that's exactly what's happened. Yet, the GOP can't even get that message across...the rich are paying far too much as it is.

Also, the lib has no concept of a rising tide lifts all boats. To them, the economic pie is fixed and the only way for me to get more is to take it away from you. Never mind that growing the pie by 10% benefits everyone. The GOP can't get that idea across either.

Finally, when I hear a lib say we need to raise taxes on the rich, and I ask why, the answer is "so we can help the poor". Really? You Dems have controlled the House and the Senate for every year except 9 since 1950, yet we have more poor people in both absolute and relative terms than ever before. Could it be the Dems create policies to keep people poor so they are beholding to the gov't? In 45 years in the labor force, I've never had one poor person give me a job. However, it's okay to give poor people cell phones using my money. The GOP can't get any part of that message across.

To me, the GOP should go the way of any other non-productive employee...they should be fired and replaced with someone who can actually articulate the conservatives' mindset.

10 posted on 12/05/2012 11:52:17 AM PST by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: Servant of the Cross
... What is remarkable is how easy it is to show how completely false Obama’s argument is. That also makes it completely inexplicable why the Republicans have not done so. ...

This is but one instance that makes one wonder where the loyalties of the republicans and republican party lie. Obviously not with the US nor the people they represent.

Both major parties seem to be engaged in an eternal game of 'good cop' 'bad cop' in which they both have the same final goals.
11 posted on 12/05/2012 11:54:01 AM PST by khelus
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To: Servant of the Cross; pookie18
OBAMA MONKEY WRENCH
12 posted on 12/05/2012 11:54:10 AM PST by FrankR (They will become our ultimate masters the day we surrender the 2nd Amendment.)
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To: kitkat
Is there any way the House can replace Boehner as Speaker?

Of course.

Come up with another leader who can get a majority of votes.

Problem is no one can seem to do that. Yet vicious sniping takes place constantly at the leader who gets the votes.

13 posted on 12/05/2012 12:03:44 PM PST by what's up
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To: Servant of the Cross

At current tax rates, we are doubtless on the right hand side of the peak of the Laffer Curve.

Therefore, tax cuts will generate more revenue to the Treasury, by definition.

Tax increases will generate less revenue to the Treasury.

This is proved repeatedly by history.

So, why do Democrats pursue tax increases when it means they can’t get more cash?

1) Envy of the rich sells to stupid poor people, who then vote Democrat.
2) If Democrats pretend tax increases will create new revenues, then they can actually increase spending.
3) When the projected revenue fails to appear, but the spending does, they have further destroyed America, another pet project.
4) Lather, rinse, repeat.


14 posted on 12/05/2012 12:06:45 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Working is for suckers.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Nobody understands... THEY DON’T CARE THAT REVENUE INCREASED WITH THE BUSH TAX CUTS. They just want social justice; those evil rich folks just need to pay more, regardless of the impact on revenue.


15 posted on 12/05/2012 2:23:39 PM PST by Real Cynic No More
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To: Real Cynic No More
They just want social justice; those evil rich folks just need to pay more, regardless of the impact on revenue.

And that's where we must work: on promoting among our fellows a sense of true justice which will make him recoil at the though of stealing another's wealth in the name of Justice. How do we do that? By becoming a Just people and, for those who are Christians, acting like Christians (and that means loving people, even the unlovable, because that is what God did to us through Jesus).

16 posted on 12/05/2012 6:38:26 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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