Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We Need Change to Recover Hope

Last night on the car radio I happened to hear Charles Krauthammer talking with Dennis Miller. I love a good analogy, or way to visualize something that is otherwise difficult to grasp. And he had one of those good images. He used some of this in his July 7 piece, so you can read that in full. 

He was talking about Obama’s insistence that much of our debt problem could be healed if we only taxed the rich more heavily—specifically those evil people who flit around the country on private corporate jets. OK. So, how much revenue would that bring in (assuming no change in behavior that would diminish use of those jets)? Here’s what Krauthammer said: 

I did the math. If you collect that tax for the next 5,000 years—that is not a type—it would equal the new debt Obama racked up last year alone. To put it another way, if we had levied this tax [on corporate jets] at the time of John the Baptist [he said the time of Herod the Great in his radio version] and collected it every year since—first in shekels, then in dollars—we would have 500 years to go before we could offset half of the debt added by Obama last year alone. 

When I was looking up this piece, I came upon a blog referring to it that adds a little more irony (here.) 

The hypocrisy on vilifying the jet class is hysterical. Included in the Democrat’s stimulus package was an incentive for corporations to purchase private jets. The incentive allows corporations to depreciate the purchase of these planes over five years instead of the standard seven. Why did they do this? Because they believed that this would stimulate the industry. It has been estimated that this “tax break” amounts to $300 million per year. That’s $3 billion over ten years when we’re running an annual deficit of about $1.5 trillion. But now this becomes the symbol of corporate greed and favors to big business. A symbol that the rich are not paying their fair share.

How many Republicans voted for the Obama stimulus that included this tax incentive? Zero. 

This gives us an opportunity to laugh (so we don’t cry) about the ridiculous and preventable situation we’re in. But we need to face some facts: either the leadership (and I mean mostly the Obama administration, the Democratic-led Senate, and the fawning media) is intent on forcing a collapse followed by government takeover resulting in European socialism or worse—or they are incompetent. 

This morning the news said that Moody’s had downgraded the US from its triple-A rating for borrowing [as predicted in yesterday’s post]. Because we defaulted after Republicans failed to go along with raising the debt? Nope—because that’s not what happened. It’s because we have out-of-control spending, with no hope of taking any steps to remedy the mess. Would this have happened if Republicans had just rubberstamped the debt ceiling rise? No, because it didn’t have anything to do with the level of the limit or even a threat of default, which would have been totally avoidable; it had to do with the inability or unwillingness to stop surpassing a debt ceiling no matter how high. 

And the only solution we get from our president for increasing revenue has to do with taking more money out of the private sector so it can’t be used for capital projects? Wait, Krauthammer reminds us of one more suggestion from this transformative leader: 

Obama’s other favorite debt-reduction refrain is canceling an oil-company tax break. Well, if you collect that oil tax and the corporate jet tax for the next 50 years—you will not yet have offset Obama’s deficit spending for February 2011. 

Should we have any faith (or blind wishful thinking) that this administration can do anything to improve our dire economic situation? I don’t. If we want hope, we have to change the leadership.

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