September 27, 2008


I blogged about this last week, but I wasn't good and mad about it yet. Vodkapundit's liveblogging reminded me of the most egregious thing Obama said during the debate:

The only point I want to make is this, that in order to make the tough decisions we have to know what our values are and who we're fighting for and our priorities and if we are spending $300 billion on tax cuts for people who don't need them and weren't even asking for them, and we are leaving out health care which is crushing on people all across the country, then I think we have made a bad decision and I want to make sure we're not shortchanging our long term priorities.

Let me also put this in bold so you don't miss it: The government doesn't spend money on tax cuts; they let you keep your own effing money. Money that is yours, that you worked for, and that simply stays in your pocket instead of being whisked away to government.

Spending money on a tax cut. Obama talks like tax revenue belongs to the government and they decide whether to give us some or not! Apparently Obama gets to decide how much of our income we "need," and if we don't specifically "ask" for it back, well, it's government's to keep.

Which brings us, as usual, to The Parable of the Stairs, which is Lileks' finest work after Notes From the Olive Garden. I am copying it here, and I hope Lileks doesn't mind. I'll put in a plug for his books as compensation: go buy one!

A minor political note, if you’re interested in such things. The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.

Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?

“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clicking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.

“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”

“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.

“What do you mean?”

“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”

“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”

That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:

“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”

Then she left.

And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.

And that, my friends, was the exact same mindset that Obama showed last night. He sees tax revenue as his money to play with as he will. He doesn't think of it as our money.

So what I want to know is this: If some housewife knitting a sock could catch Obama saying this, why didn't McCain catch it? Why didn't he slam Obama from here to kingdom come on it? He needs to do this soon. Obama gets to prance around with his pretty little "95% of you are getting a tax cut" and he needs to be taken down a peg. McCain needs to point out that those 5% who are getting a tax increase already pay 60% of the taxes our country takes in. They don't deserve to get screwed even harder. And that screwing them even harder means life will be worse for all of us in the US.

But god forbid some person making $40,000 per year doesn't get to take home a few more dollars under an Obama presidency. Remember when that blogger said why she's not a Republican, that she eschewed the libertarian right's "'I got mine' attitude"? Well, there's the flip side, there's your Democrat "I got mine" right there. Am I one of the 95% who gets a tax cut? Well, then here's a middle finger to the top 5%. I got my tax cut, so I'm voting for Obama.

Nevermind that the top 5% of earners are what keep this country afloat and make earning possible for all the rest of us. Nevermind that if the government takes more of their money out of their pockets, they simply won't provide us with more jobs and more robustness in the economy. They won't build any stairs for us to profit from.

It can't go "straight to those people instead of trickling down," you stupid little girl.

And Obama is high if he thinks he can fix the problems the US faces with taxes on the already-overtaxed rich. He just can't. Last week I watched Glenn Beck's "Exposed: America's Broke" series. I recommend it if you want to be depressed. Forgive the screenshot taken from the first installment, but I can't get this out of my head:


We have two serious problems facing us in the future named Social Security and Medicare. What Glenn Beck noted is that spending is projected to go through the roof, but the history of revenues is pretty stable. Under both the most oppressive and the most generous tax rates we've ever had, revenues have stayed roughly around 18% of GDP. When we start doling out social security and Medicare to baby boomers, there's no way to make up the difference in money we need from taxes.

And the Democrats think it's even remotely possible to add national health care to our burden of spending?

Obama cannot tax away our problems, and McCain needs to start calling him on it. If he and Palin really want to be Mavericks, they need to reform Social Security and Medicare, which are a far bigger burden on the US than earmarks. But at the very least they need to stop letting Obama get away with acting like cutting middle class taxes is important for the economy. We need to cut taxes for high earners and businesses first.

And for heaven's sake, I want Obama socked in the gut the next time he calls tax cuts "spending."

Here's what Vodkapundit said:

7:36PM “Spending 300 billion dollars on tax cuts.” That right there explains why I haven’t voted for a Democrat for President since 1992, and would rather not until they beat that sentiment out of themselves. Preferably using ball-peen hammers.

Roger that.

Posted by Sarah at September 27, 2008 03:47 PM | TrackBack

Dealing with my MIL's need for care really opened my eyes and scared the hell out of me. Her care is now covered by Medicaid - which is paying about 5500$ a month and which will go up to over 8K a month when her dementia gets a little worse.

And we're going to have to pay for this for an entire generation of people. A LOT of people.

There's seriously not enough tax money - PERIOD - unless we stop paving streets, stop defending our shores (I'm not even talking Iraq here, I'm talking military AT ALL), stop the food stamps and congressional pay (which may be a good idea considering how rarely some of them show up to work).

I'm strongly within those people that are supposed to be getting a tax cut - and I NEVER ASKED FOR ONE. We're at war - we need to pay for it. And if I can't live within my means, it's MY fault. I'm not buying a house that is three times what I can afford on an ARM. I'm shopping at Sam's Club for food. We forego the neat cruises for vacations and I still haven't been to Disney World (huge dream of mine). I'll get there eventually, but I need to save to get there.

People need to go re-read the Little House on the Prairie books. Remember how hard Pa and Ma worked to get their house and food? When Mary got sick and went blind, they didn't beg for a government handout, they started over. It sucks, but it happens.

America needs to recapture that.

Posted by: airforcewife at September 27, 2008 05:37 PM