Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Re: Obama comes out swinging in weekly address

Aztec, you seem to have a low threshold for awe at rhetoric. That quote from Obama rings of boilerplate populist nonsense. I wouldn't be surprised if that was plagiarized from one of Hugo Chavez's notoriously long-winded populist tirades.

Even a progressive such as yourself must realize the silliness of his claim that he will defy "special interests and lobbyists". His budget was a laundry list of special interest and lobbyist favors. The only change has been the flavor of the favored parties - the conservative pet projects are out, the liberal pet projects are in - but the government trough continues to expand to feed the favored set of interests.

I want to take special issue with this fiction about tax cuts "for most families while raising them on a few".

Look at this chart. For all of Obama's rhetoric about cutting taxes for the poor and middle class, as it is, 32.6% of households pay zero in federal income taxes. How exactly is Obama going to cut these taxes? He's not. Rather, he is going to give them money - a negative tax rate. In the old days of capitalist America, this was termed "income redistribution".

Also look at the chart below.

The top 5% of income earners are already paying over 50% of the tax base (and for all the hatred of Bush and his tax cuts, this progression actually expanded during his time in office). The top 50% are paying 97% of taxes, meaning that the other half of the population is getting a smorgasbord of services essentially for free. This is a recipe for long-term disaster.

I will leave you with my own quotation, which I would argue has stood the test of time and has much more depth than the empty populist blather you offered from Obama.

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." -Alexander Tyler 1747-1813

Obama has taken us one step farther down this road.


Restless Native said...

What about him going after the farm subsidies? I would have thought that would have warmed the cockles where your heart would be if you had one?

GammaBoy said...

It did warm my cockles, although I would reserve judgment until I heard the details of his changes.

Regardless, it's like saying I love the taste of sliced avocado on a sandwich. As much as I dig the avocado, when you place it on a shit sandwich, it's still basically just a shit sandwich.