But the Conquered, or their Children, have no Court, no Arbitrator on Earth to appeal to. Then they may appeal, as Jephtha did, to Heaven, and repeat their Appeal, till they have recovered the native Right of their Ancestors, which was to have such a Legislative over them, as the Majority should approve, and freely acquiesce in.
-John Locke

Monday, July 25, 2011

US Default Watch, Part 8.5

2 years ago, President Obama made sure to point out that raising taxes in a recession is the last thing you want to do, and was very clear that he didn't do that very thing.
 In August 2009, on a visit to Elkhart, Indiana to tout his stimulus plan, Obama sat down for an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, and was conveyed a simple request from Elkhart resident Scott Ferguson: “Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.”
Obama agreed with Ferguson’s premise – raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. “First of all, he’s right. Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott is – his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession.”

 Now, fast-forward to the present.  Unemployment figures have not improved since 2009, and arguably have gotten worse due to many Americans simply not seeking employment anymore.  These people aren't "unemployed" because they have given up on becoming employed.  The Fed is starting to pump QE3 on us, and Bernanke is pulling his levers like a crazed Keynesian fighting deflation and pushing inflation.  With all the signs of stagflation on us, it's beginning to look a lot like Carter, everywhere you go...including a potential showdown with Iran. In short, the recession is still gripping us by the underwear and lifting sharply.  Add to the scene the impending debt ceiling deadline that no one seemed to find important until about 3 weeks ago. 

Now President Obama has changed his tune.  He is grabbing this crisis for all it's worth, and is going all-in on raising taxes.  He has rejected deals that do not call for increasing taxes.  He has gone on the news and called for increased revenues in the form of higher taxes.  Is it possible that we are all out of ideas and the only thing left is the "last thing you want to do" - raise taxes during a recession?  Well...there are still a couple of plans being floated out there, so we're not out of ideas yet.  So, Obama prefers to go straight to raising taxes, and now seems perfectly willing to drive the bus off the cliff if he can't get them. Although, some of us here have long been under the impression that Obama wants to destroy our economy, and this is simply the best opportunity to do it that he's been presented with. 

Jennifer Rubin provided this insider info of House Speaker Boehner describing the discussions with Obama:
I went on “Fox News Sunday” this morning because it was the most effective way to tell everyone where things stand. It boils down to this: The president wants his $2.4 trillion debt limit increase all at once, without any guarantees that we’re going to cut more than $2.4 trillion in spending. The administration says they have to have it all upfront so we don’t have to deal with this again until after the next election. You heard the president say that himself on TV the other night.
Let's take a quick look at what Obama wants to do.  To set the stage, remember that almost 50% of households in America do not pay any federal taxes, and the top earning 10% (roughly people who earn over $100,000) pay about 70% of the money collected on personal income taxes.  When Obama says he wants to raise taxes, that top 10% is going to carry the brunt of it, and a lot of those people earn under the magic $250K number that was supposed to be the line in the sand for not raising taxes. We are in a recession; jobs are scarce, money is tight, consumer confidence continues to plunge, the majority of homeowners believe they owe more on their mortgage than their home is actually worth.  The Fed is pushing inflationary policies; that means that the money you have left over each month after taxes has less buying power than it did last month or last year.  It means you are taking a pay cut, even if your paycheck doesn't change.  That hurts your ability to save money, which then impacts your desire to spend money.  So, we start to have a downward spiral with a ripple-effect into all types of consumer goods and the jobs that they drive.  Obama's solution?  Keep on borrowing money, don't commit to any actual spending cuts, but raise taxes.  The paycheck that you get and the decreasing buying power it gives you is about to get even smaller; Obama wants you to have fewer of those weak-ass dollars to be able to spend...or save...or burn for warmth this winter.  And here's the real kicker: he wants to take your money and use it on programs for people who don't pay any taxes!!! 

Of course, no one is talking about all that unspent stimulus money that's just sitting around somewhere in Washington...well, no one in the media, anyway.

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