Just some random thoughts:
Why did the President and the Speaker waste our prime time last night? President Obama took his time to get in front of the mic and say the same things he has said in his press conferences the past few weeks. He threw in some statements about negotiations, made some nice statements about Speaker Boehner, and made sure to trot out his tried-and-true, base-energizing catchphrases: “corporate jet owners;” “millionaires and billionaires;” “breaks we don’t need” (paraphrased). You pushed back the start of our 8 pm shows for this?? Even worse, I listened to Chris Matthews afterwards and heaven forbid, he said something I agree with; he said usually, Presidents only request prime time to make an announcement or to make news. This speech was neither and shouldn’t have been done in prime time. Write it down somewhere–I agreed with Chris Matthews! Then, House Speaker Boehner jumps up with the canned response. There are really only two things I pulled out of his speech: 1)he had a couple of zingers at Obama’s expense that were funny, and 2)Republicans are now going to position the President’s stance as wanting a “blank check” since he did not support their Cut, Cap, and Balance bill. The election may be next year, but the game is already afoot.
Speaking of corporate jets: First, if the tax break in question was eliminated, it would save a whopping $3 billion. Over ten years. Yes, ten. Trillions in deficits and we’re talking $3 billion. Second, Obama is responsible for the very tax break he criticizes. See the stimulus bill for more details. Third, he has people thinking these “corporate jet owners” are just average wealthy individuals with money to burn. For the most part, based on the tax break, the owners of corporate jets tend to be…wait for it…CORPORATIONS!! Way to muddy the issue for duh masses, Mr. President.
Did he really mention Reagan?: Obama referred to Ronald Reagan in his speech in order to take a swipe at Republicans. Reagan’s quote somewhat supported what the Left has been saying. The irony is, I noticed Obama didn’t quote HIMSELF from 2006, when he was talking about how raising the ceiling was a failure in leadership. Or what about Harry Reid, who fought against a debt-celing increase that same year and asked “How can (Repubicans) explain that they think it’s fair to force our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren tofinance this debt through higher taxes?” Now THOSE are quotes that should’ve gotten some airtime.
If all else fails, let’s create some wealth and income envy: My friends on the left need to own up to this. Their belief in raising taxes creates a need to make the rest of America mad at the wealthy. You can hear it when the President speaks of the previously mentioned corporate jet owners. Or when he talks about tax breaks that high-earners “don’t need.” You even get it when he speaks of the oil companies. Lest we forget, Dems want to take a tax break away from the top 5 oil companies, since they are making so much money. Absurdity, not only because we’re talking about a small amount of money ($21 billion over 10 years), but because it would then be a break that every company in America EXCEPT those 5 oil companies could take advantage of. But hey, Big Oil is evil and they need to pay up!
Can someone define “fair share?”: Sometime soon this will get its own post. I’ve heard my friends and the President refer to fairness in various terms when it comes to taxes. But I don’t understand what that means, since I’ve never heard it defined. What is fair? Based on the proportion of taxes paid, high-income earners pay a ton. We hear about hedge fund managers paying less than their secretaries, but is it unfair that they take advantage of lawful tax deductions and such? And do they really pay less than the secretary, or is that just another one of those garbage speak political catchphrases referred to earlier? I would go with the latter.