With his three wins earlier this month in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Mitt Romney all but clinched the Republican nomination for President. The political pundits promptly announced that the 2012 campaign for the White House could finally get under way.
Baloney. Barack Obama has been campaigning for re-election for more than a year now (or, more accurately, about five minutes after he took office in January 2009). Judging by what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be one of the nastiest campaigns this country has ever seen.
Four years ago, when he was campaigning on a promise of “hope and change,” here’s what then-Senator Obama said in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention:
If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
Sound like anyone we know?
Karl Rove wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal in which he mentioned recent remarks Obama made to executives of The Associated Press (an audience that was guaranteed to be almost as friendly for him as union members). The President warned that the Republicans want to “convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts — especially for the wealthy.” Of course, no Republican anywhere has proposed any such thing — and the President knows it.
But you’ve got to love how the guy manages to position his redistributionist schemes as “investments.” How can you complain if he takes money from those who earn and give it to those who don’t (with substantial deductions along the way to pay for the bureaucracy that administers it) if he calls such actions “investments”?
Our President is an absolute master at impugning the motives of anyone who disagrees with him. Thus, he can tell the editors at AP that his opponents want to “let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity.” He knew that no one in his audience would challenge such ridiculous assertions.
Or how about this example? Unlike the Democratic-controlled Senate, which hasn’t passed a budget in the past three years, the House of Representatives approved one earlier this year. It calls for increased Federal spending from $3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011 to $4.9 trillion in fiscal year 2022.
But in his speech before the AP, Obama denounced the plan for its heartless “cuts” because he wants to increase Federal spending nearly twice that much. His plan calls for spending $5.8 trillion in 2022. So in other words, in Obamaland, if one of your kids asks you to double his allowance, and you increase it only 50 percent, somehow you’re guilty of cutting it.
Of course, if Mitt Romney or any other Republican tried to use such shoddy logic, the media would be quick to point out the absurdity of the claim.
Speaking of dishonest statements, how about Obama’s promise that if Congress would only pass the “Buffett Rule,” it would “stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade”? Obama isn’t even close. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this much-ballyhooed tax on anyone making $1 million or more a year will raise $47 billion over the next 10 years. Obama’s budget proposals for the same period will add $9.6 trillion to our national debt in the same period.
In other words, the Buffett Rule will pay for just about 17 days of the President’s next decade of deficits. But, hey, the public likes promises to “soak the rich.” And no President since Lyndon Baines Johnson has played the “us vs. them” card as often or as effectively as Obama.
As you know, the Buffett Rule is named after Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor from Omaha, Neb., who earned scads of publicity when he observed that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
Well, guess what? It turns out that Obama does, too. The President and his wife reported an adjusted gross income of $789,674 in 2011 and paid 20.5 percent of it in Federal taxes. The White House confirmed that Obama’s secretary, Anita Decker Breckenridge, paid a “slightly higher” percentage on her salary of $95,000.
According to White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage, that “is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share.”
By the way, in 2009 and 2010, royalties from his bestselling books put Obama in the $1-million-a-year income bracket. But in 2011, the President wouldn’t have been subject to the Buffett Rule had it been in effect. I guess he’ll have to wait until he’s out of office and making millions of dollars on the lecture circuit before he falls victim to the proposal — assuming it ever gets passed, that is.
Meanwhile, the President and his cronies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars for this year’s re-election campaign. Bill Maher, the potty-mouthed comedian on HBO, contributed $1 million to a pro-Obama super-PAC earlier this year.
I shudder to think how ubiquitous the nasty ads from the Obama campaign will be with a billion bucks to spend, but I doubt they will stoop to the depths of some of their more vitriolic supporters, such as Maher. At least, I hope they won’t.
If you think the 2011 TV ad was featuring a wheelchair-bound old lady being thrown off a cliff was nasty, just wait. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Until next time, keep some powder dry — and the political commercials on mute.