Yesterday, just days after President Barack Obama signed his economic stimulus measure, the White House released a statement claiming credit for the reopening of a window and door factory in Chicago. Vice President Joe Biden said, “The reopening of this factory and the rehiring of these workers provide an excellent example of how the money in the Recovery Act is targeted to spur job creation quickly.”
If the Obama Administration is going to claim credit for every job created since Obama and Biden were elected, then if they are honest, they should also take the blame for every job lost. Since Obama’s election Nov. 4, the Dow has dropped 2,562 points. This past Friday, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy shrank by 6.2%, making it the worst quarter since 1982. Many economists predict that labor data to be released this Friday will show that as many as 700,000 jobs were lost in February.
Why has our economic downturn accelerated only since President Obama took office? Because the Obama Administration’s policies amount to a declaration of war on the investors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses that make our economy grow. The budget released last week only confirmed the worst fears about the direction the Obama Administration wants to take the country.
Taxes: At a time when only the economists on the White House payroll believe our economy is about to recover, the Obama Administration plans to raise taxes on the American people by almost $2 trillion. The first $1.3 trillion of these taxes are aimed at the highest earning Americans, corporations, and small businesses. According to Heritage Foundation senior analyst Brian Riedl, while the top 20% of taxpayers now pay 80% of all taxes collected by the government, under the Obama plan, the top 20% of tax filers would pay 90% of all taxes, and the number of families who owe no tax would climb to near 50%. Riedl warns: “You can only increase taxes on the rich so much before they stop working, saving and investing, and that reduces economic growth for everybody.”
Then there is the $646 billion tax hike on every American. The Obama Administration euphemistically refers to these taxes as “climate revenues” from their planned carbon capping scheme. But make no mistake: government taxes on energy will be passed on to the consumer. And the deadweight loss from this massive and regressive tax hike doesn’t even include the costs of the invasive new government monitoring of all economic activity necessary to make the plan work.
Spending: Obama’s budget proposes $1.13 trillion in regular discretionary spending for 2010. This is a full 12% increase over the 2009 spending baseline. On top of this the Obama budget increases entitlement spending by another $700 billion. The proposed post-recession spending level of 22% of GDP has been exceeded only eight times in the post-World War II era. And these numbers do not include the spending priorities of the unchecked far left in Congress.
The Chicago Tribune reports today: “President Barack Obama will break a campaign pledge against congressional earmarks and sign a budget bill laden with millions in lawmakers’ pet projects … Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, identified almost 8,600 earmarks totaling $7.7 billion.”
Deficits: The Obama budget claims to cut the deficit in half by 2012, but relies on audaciously optimistic economic forecasts that no one believes in. Adding the “stimulus” bill to a realistic budget baseline yields a projected 2010-2017 cumulative budget deficit of $8.4 trillion – 2.5 times the size of President Bush’s deficits over the same eight-year period. Before the recession, revenues were 18 percent of GDP and spending was 20 percent. After the recession, President Obama would maintain revenues at 19 percent of GDP, and spending at 22 percent. In other words, all new tax revenues would finance new spending, rather than deficit reduction. President Obama’s structural budget deficit would exceed President Bush’s.
Defending Obama’s budget Sunday on Meet the Press, Democratic Leadership Council chairman Harold Ford Jr. commented: “In November voters said, ‘We want a different path.’ If it doesn’t work, [Obama]’s indicated, ‘I own this budget. I own this economy.’ ” Exactly.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that the U.S. now believes that Iran has amassed enough uranium that with further purification could be used to build an atomic bomb.
- The U.S. Treasury is readying another $30 billion bailout, as AIG’s debt problems mount.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for $900 million in aid for Gaza.
- On Sunday, European leaders rejected a Hungarian plea for a $240 billion bailout of struggling Eastern European countries.
- According to the Washington Post, the left’s attempt to kill school vouchers for Washington D.C. “would dash the best hopes of hundreds of children.”