Saturday, September 13, 2008

Senator Barack Obama has a "Read My Lips" moment, which may come back to haunt him like it did Bush '41

This is a five-minute video clip, but Senator Obama's promise that he will not cut taxes for every American family below $250,000 annually, and that this is not a trick--he won't raise capital gains, or withholding, or . . . anything else, comes at about one and one-half minutes in:



Now, please notice that Senator Obama gives himself one subtle out: he says that my plan will cut nearly everybody's taxes, not that as President he won't raise taxes. That's the sort of wiggle room, however, that everybody generally includes (especially seeing as the read my lips arguably cost him his re-election).

But that my plan bit is important, because, as the Tax Policy Center notes:

One challenge facing anyone who wants to estimate the effects of candidates’ tax plans is that no one—not even inside the campaigns—knows exactly what the proposals are. Stump speeches and campaign white papers rarely contain enough technical detail to analyze proposals fully. In addition, the candidates’ plans are often works in progress that change during the campaign.


In other words, Senator Obama is really playing the Audacity of Hype with what could be more accurately described as a tax approach rather than a tax plan.

Moreover, Senator Obama's tax cut has to be considered in relation to the promises he's already made about new spending.

From the Barack Obama for President website, an incomplete selection of the funding increases that the Senator is proposing [albeit often without explaining exactly what he will be spending]:

Obama will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. [no dollar amount provided]...

Barack Obama will double funding for the MEP [Manufacturing Extension Partnership] so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. [ooops, corporate welfare alert!] [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure...

The Obama plan will increase funding for federal workforce training programs [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will also extend the Production Tax Credit, a credit used successfully by American farmers and investors to increase renewable energy production and create new local jobs. [no dollar amount provided]...

The [National Infrastructure] Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years...

Barack Obama supports doubling federal funding for basic research [in science] [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama wants to make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes. [ooops, corporate welfare alert!] [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of [business] incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country. [ooops, corporate welfare alert!] [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will provide a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs [for paid leave programs] and to help states offset the costs for employees and employers. [ooops, corporate welfare alert!]...

Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve quality for both. [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will also provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families. [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems...

As president, Obama will strengthen funding for biomedical research [no dollar amount provided]...

He has been a strong supporter of more than $1 billion in federal funding for autism research...

Obama introduced legislation to provide $37.5 million over 5 years for drinking water systems to upgrade their monitoring and security efforts....

He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find sanctuary....

Obama will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs...

Obama will double funding for the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will fully fund the Community Development Block Grant program [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will invest in rural small businesses and fight to expand high-speed Internet access. [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) [no dollar amount provided]...

Barack Obama supports plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marines by 27,000 troops. [no dollar amount provided]...

We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to essential systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft, which provide the backbone of our ability to extend global power. [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will add to the Maritime Pre-Positioning Force Squadrons to support operations ashore and invest in smaller, more capable ships [no dollar amount provided]...

An Obama administration will support missile defense [no dollar amount provided]...

Barack Obama will provide the National Guard with the equipment it needs for foreign and domestic emergencies [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will increase the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement budget [no dollar amount provided]...

The Chief Technology Officer will oversee the development of a national, interoperable wireless network for local, state and federal first responders as the 9/11 commission recommended. [no dollar amount provided]...

Create a Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund, funded by an annual $10 billion investment for five years, to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S. [ooops, corporate welfare alert!] [no dollar amount provided]...

Obama will fully fund the Veteran's Administration [no dollar amount provided]...


Point being: one of the greatest disasters of the Dubya mis-administration was the idea that taxes could be cut while spending was increased.

Both Senators Obama and McCain continue to try to seduce American voters into the delusion that--like Michelob promises--that we can have it all.

Truth is: we can't. Unless, of course, we want to give it all to the government.

Which is exactly where we're apparently headed.

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