(The talking points below were drafted for potential media interviews with participants of the National Tea Party protests taking place on April 15th, 2009. These talking points are in no particular order. They cover a range of topics illustrating the staggering growth in government spending and taxation.)
As an indication of how far left Barack Obama’s economic policies are, we are being warned by former Socialist countries to avoid the same mistakes that they made. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek called the U.S. stimulus package the "way to hell". Russian President Vladimir Putin warned "Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state's omnipotence is a mistake." Embarrassingly, even Communist China warned the U.S. not to devalue the dollar through reckless government spending.
President Barack Obama's intelligence chief confirmed that some Guantanamo inmates may be released on U.S. soil and receive assistance from taxpayers to return to society. "If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life," said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair. "You can't just put them on the street," he added.
To put President Obama’s proposed budget deficits in context, if you added up all of the debt put on the government books by all of the presidents from George Washington through George Bush, Obama's proposed debt exceeds that amount in just his first term.
If you like having your taxes ending up in the hands of terrorists, then you will be ecstatic to know that the U.S. government is going to give $900 million to rebuild Gaza, which is another way of saying that we will be funding the terrorist organization Hamas.
As a possible warning sign of how unstable the dollar is likely to become when the government’s massive spending plans are executed in the next four years, Treasury Secretary Geithner shocked global markets by revealing that Washington is "quite open" to Chinese proposals for the gradual development of a global reserve currency to be run by the International Monetary Fund. That the U.S. Treasury Secretary is even entertaining allowing the dollar to cease to be the anchor of the global monetary system caused the dollar to plunge against other world currencies.
The Obama administration appears likely to use tax dollars to continue the assault on the First Amendment. As if the "Fairness Doctrine" and the increased FCC regulation of local content and media diversity are not enough, the Democrats are proposing to get the government involved in the newspaper business. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) wants the federal government to fund newspapers, providing the faltering industry with subsidies in exchange for control over their editorial decisions. He introduced a bill that would allow newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
Barack Obama has promised the American people that he will cut the budget in half by the end of his first term. His clever strategy for doing this is to create a budget deficit so massive in his first year that it will be easy to cut it half by his fourth year. Obama's budget deficit in 2009 is projected to be $1.75 trillion, which is more than the last FIVE Bush deficits combined. So, his 2012 deficit only needs to be a paltry $800 billion or less in order for him to keep his promise.
Obama’s promise that no one earning less than $250 thousand per year will experience a tax increase is impossible to deliver on. The group of taxpayers who earn more than that simply do not make enough money to cover the trillions of new spending launched by the administration. All taxpayers will eventually be tabbed to help foot this bill, either directly through tax increases, or indirectly through inflation as the government prints money to fund the deficit spending.
Obama's Universal Health Care plans will cost at least the $634 billion set aside in his first budget, because in Obama's own description, that amount is just a "down payment". This does not include the 7% annual increase for Medicare funding and the 6% annual increase for Medicaid funding. It also does not include the lost productivity of Americans standing in lines or filling out paperwork to get on waiting lists for services from the soon-to-be socialized health care industry. If we really want to have health care for everyone, we will have to give it to many people for free. Once we start doing that, we will never stop, at least until the government (which means the taxpayers) runs out of money.
There is no one alive who can tell you what happened with the entire $700 billion that the government allocated for the first TARP emergency fund. And there is no one alive who will be able to tell you what will happen with the additional $750 billion dollars in TARP spending planned in Obama’s budget.
After all of Obama's rhetoric lately about boosting pay for military personnel, including a statement to the joint session of Congress about a large pay increase being necessary and deserved for the brave men and women who defend this nation, his budget only allows for a scant 2.9% pay raise. This is coincidentally the MINIMUM that the law requires.
It is entertaining to observe the massive spending, record deficits, huge tax increases, and budgetary socialization of America being implemented by the Obama administration, and then to listen to his administration lecture Wall Street, the banks, the automotive industry, and the American people about fiscal responsibility.
85% of the government stimulus package is a wish list for special interests, paybacks for political patronage, and subsidies for politically correct pet projects. Almost 40% of the stimulus is earmarked for large urban states like New York and California, so that they can continue to fund their own government employee payrolls to support salary increases, bloated pensions, and health plans that not available to most of the private sector.
During a recession, citizens feel a terrible burden. They face pay cuts, shortened hours, lay-offs, reduced benefits, and deferment of discretionary spending. In short, they sacrifice to balance their personal budgets. What do government bureaucrats and politicians do during a recession? They increase taxes and spending, and go deeper into debt, of course. Their pay and benefits are never cut. And if they do threaten to lay-off government workers, it is usually the brave public servants that defend your life and property, like policemen, firemen, and soldiers.
Almost $60 billion of the stimulus bill is earmarked for states to increase their welfare expenditures. However, this funding is available for only a limited time. When that money runs out, the states will still feel internal pressure to support the higher level of benefits set by the stimulus precedent. This will strain local budgets and lead to state and local tax increases.
Ronald Reagan told us that "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." We are about to find out how true that statement really is.
Margaret Thatcher told us that "The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money." We are about to find out how true that statement really is.
The perfect field of play for socialists is a media onslaught of "economic crisis", "banking crisis", "war crisis", "climate change crisis", "infrastructure crisis", "social security crisis", "health care crisis", and "global poverty crisis". After the middle class is sufficiently frightened by these crises, the socialists will target capitalist institutions such as banks and global corporations as the evil straw men responsible for the mess, because Wall Street and Big Business are often resented by the middle class anyway. From this fertile ground of crisis and condemnation of capitalism will come the inevitable big-government solutions, which will invariably involve broad new government powers and a transfer of wealth from increasingly overburdened taxpayers and property owners. Thus, the death of capitalism and the rise of socialism will result, not from violent revolution, but from a thousand bureaucratic paper cuts.
The threat of global warming is the perfect ruse for advocates of Big Government. The threat of it, whether real or imagined, sounds dire enough to frighten citizens into action. The actions needed to slay the "monster" will, of course, require higher taxes, more bureaucrats, and increased regulation of business and individuals. And what makes it the perfect ruse is that there will never be any objective way to know if the government power grab actually helped or not.
When Obama declared, "We are the ones we have been waiting for," it was a politically incestuous allegory to the 50 year old leftist dream to control America. Now that the radical leftists have seized power, they will first come for the rich. And then, realizing that the rich don’t have nearly enough money to conquer all of the "crises" that the leftists have manufactured, they will come after the vast middle class. Even now, at the very beginning of Obama’s administration, the leftists have proposed over $8 trillion dollars of new spending. Those in the middle class should do some simple math. The "Haves" in this country don’t make that much money. Thus, the "Have-a-Little’s" are going to pay for it, one way or the other.
Simple math will tell you that your middle-class standard of living is about to collapse. You are about to become a slave to government solutions for exaggerated or imagined "crises". You are going to pay taxes or fees for something called "carbon emissions", to combat global warming. You are going to pay higher utility costs as the government circumvents the energy markets to push expensive alternative energy sources. You are either going to pay dramatically higher taxes, or deal with dramatically increased prices due to inflation, in order to cover the costs of the banking crisis. Your Social Security and Medicare taxes are going to go up, as the reality of our ponzi-scheme retirement plan crashes down upon us. You are going to pay higher taxes for teachers’ unions and universities that demand more and more money each year for fewer and fewer results. You are going to see your access to quality health care decline as more and more non-paying consumers, including illegal immigrants, are added to nationalized health care rolls. You will be confronted with more and more shortages as increasingly militant labor unions, fueled by the obsequious Employee Free Choice Act, drive up labor costs and push more and more suppliers into bankruptcy. This is merely an incomplete list of the bottomless pit of government initiatives that are going to swallow you up in the coming years.
What do you suppose Obama meant when he wrote that the laws of our country are too focused on "sacrificing conscience to expedience or greed"? Perhaps we are finding out as he exercises his own "conscience" by nationalizing businesses, terminating CEO’s, cancelling bonuses, taxing away profits, dictating executive salaries, and imposing nationalized health care to ration medical services. One begins to fear that "conscience" means to him that the state gets to ignore the U.S. Constitution and impose its will on free individuals and businesses.
As if Obama’s stupendous domestic spending orgy isn’t enough, he continues to support the Global Poverty Act, which if enacted will execute the mandate imposed by the United Nations on Americans to spend 7% of our GDP, or $843 billion over 13 years, to ameliorate poverty overseas.
If you spent $2 million dollars every single day during every single year from the birth of Christ until today, you will still not have spent as much as Obama’s budget deficit planned for 2009.
At the top of Obama’s 2008 campaign contribution list are large investment bankers that are benefitting from various government bail-outs and stimulus plans. These include Goldman Sachs, UBS, JPMorgan, Chase, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley.
A monumental change is taking place in the relationship between the state and the individual in America. America is rapidly descending from a representative Constitutional Republic to a collectivist Socialist state that is larger and more burdensome than the autocratic monarchy we revolted against two centuries ago.
Obama fully supports the very deceptively named "Employee Free Choice Act", which abolishes the secret ballot and forces employees to reveal how they vote on union issues. This is truly Orwellian legislation that runs counter to our fundamental notions of democracy and secret ballots.
If the government confiscated 100% of the income of everyone making $75,000 or more, it would barely have enough to cover planned expenditures for 2009.
The tax burden on a typical middle class wage earner, including income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and other user fees, is approaching that of a medieval serf, who was forced to contribute one-third of his labor to his feudal baron.
Here are some things in the stimulus bill that taxpayers should find appalling:
$1 billion for Amtrak (which hasn’t earned a profit in four decades).
$400 million for research into global warming (which has become global cooling in the past few years).
$600 million to buy a new fleet of cars for federal employees, even though the government already spends $3 billion per year managing a fleet of 600,000 vehicles (which makes you wonder how many federal employees there are).
$2 billion for national parks (the chief lobbyist of the National Parks Association is the son of Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wisc).
$750 million for ACORN (which Obama used to work for, and which is being investigated for voter fraud in 14 states).
$20 billion over five years for an expanded food stamp program (which your local government will have to fund when the federal funding expires).
Funds to install 40 million smart utility meters to control energy usage in homes (which means Big Brother will be running your household).
$6 billion for mass transit (most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs—you’re paying the rest already).
$8 billion for renewable energy (which, if it really had a good ROI, somebody would already be doing).
$252 billion in Medicaid, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and tax rebates to people who pay no income taxes or do nothing at all (How can this be a stimulus? It’s just moving money from one pocket to another--from someone who did something to someone who didn’t).
$54 billion for federal programs that the Government Accountability Office has criticized as being ineffective. (How can this be a stimulus? It’s just taking money from productive people and giving it to ineffective people).
$141 billion more for education (If you think the intention of this is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 of the bill that "No recipient….shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." This means that it is only a "stimulus" if money goes to union teachers rather than non-union teachers).
The stimulus package will add 32 new government programs at a cost of $136 billion. Many of these programs, once established, are likely to continue indefinitely. As Ronald Reagan once observed, a government program is the closest thing we have to eternal life.
Most media outlets are reporting the cost of the stimulus package at $819 billion. The Congressional Budget Office calculates that the interest on the debt generated by the bill’s spending will cost another $347 billion.
60.7 million people who have no federal income tax burden at all will receive a "tax credit" from Obama. Speaking in plain English, this means that they will receive welfare.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times right after the election that crises "are opportunities to do big things." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience at the European Parliament, "Never waste a good crisis." President Obama explained in a Saturday radio and internet address that there is "great opportunity in the midst" of "the great crisis" befalling America. Our leaders appear to be thrilled about our crises. Perhaps they should ask the taxpayers how they feel about it.
Numerous commentators have pointed to this never-waste-a-crisis mantra as evidence that Obama’s budget priorities are not so much about fixing the crises as they are to implement the longstanding liberal agenda on health care, energy, education, and wealth redistribution. Not only do many of his proposals have nothing to do with addressing the housing and toxic-debt problems that are the direct causes of our predicament, many economists argue that his policies are making the situation worse.
Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. It increases non-defense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And this does not include the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.
Powerful House Democrats are looking at eliminating most of the $80 billion annual tax breaks for 401(k) investors. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-California, are studying how to alter the nation’s 401(k) system to eliminate investor tax breaks and force worker’s money into obligatory retirement accounts.
On October 8th, 2008, 100 distinguished and experienced economists at major American universities and research organizations, including five Nobel prize winners Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith, signed a statement explaining why Barack Obama’s proposals, including "misguided tax hikes", would "decrease the number of jobs in America." The economists concluded that "Barack Obama’s economic proposals are wrong for the American economy".
We are at a dangerous tipping point in our democracy. Roughly fifty percent of eligible voters pay federal income taxes, and the remaining fifty percent don’t. Once that ratio becomes unfavorable for the taxpayers, they will be exposed to an electoral majority that could choose to simply vote their wealth away. We are starting to see that happen now, with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid spending a trillion here and a trillion there.
We conservatives need to explode out of our shells. The radicals that have taken over the federal government have a powerful grassroots organization. Using groups like ACORN, Media Matters, Project Vote, and MoveOn.org, many of which are funded in part by the federal government, the radicals have flooded the voting booths with armies of "victims" who will vote Democratic in hopes of leeching onto American taxpayers to get all of their needs and wishes fulfilled.
Conservatives need to become radicals, too, but not in the unethical and sometimes illegal ways of their leftist adversaries. For every dead person ACORN registers three times to vote, conservatives need to motivate ten honest American taxpayers to join tax protest groups. For every young American that Obama bribes with federal money to become "a community organizer" in Americorps, conservatives need to motive ten hard-working, civic-minded young Americans to radicalize conservative fellow students in high schools and on college campuses.
Conservatives need to stand up now and confront this socialist threat to our country. If Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are still running this country eight years from now, the American way of life will be irretrievably lost. The programs that they are implementing day after day in Washington will be irreversible once they take hold. For example, once nationalized health care is fully implemented, there will be no undoing it. There will only be signing up on waiting lists for procedures that the government will ration for the middle class, but will give away for free to illegal immigrants. Once illegal immigrants are waved across the border and given free education, health care, and other social benefits, there will be no undoing it. There will only be a reduced standard of living, class warfare, and bi-lingual signs everywhere.
The true deficit of the federal government is actually $65.5 trillion in total obligations, which exceeds the GDP of the entire world. The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the American government in bankruptcy.
The real 2008 federal budget deficit was $5.1 trillion, not the $455 billion previously reported by the Congressional Budget Office, according to the 2008 Financial Report of the U.S. Government, as released by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The difference between the $455 billion "official" budget deficit numbers and the $5.1 trillion budget deficit cited by "2008 Financial Report of the US Government" is that the official budget deficit is calculated on a cash basis, where all tax receipts, including Social Security tax receipts, are used to pay government liabilities as they occur. The numbers in the 2008 report are calculated on a GAAP basis (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) that include year-for-year changes in the net present value of unfunded liabilities in social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. In a post-Enron world, if the federal government was a corporation such as GM, the President and senior Treasury officers would be in a federal penitentiary.
Obama says "you are selfish" if you want to keep your income instead of allowing the government to take it from you in the form of increased taxes. Biden says "it’s our patriotic duty to pay more taxes." Perhaps it is time for taxpayers to realize that it is our moral duty to remove these tyrants from office.
An enormous fiscal issue is whether the spending bonanza of the Obama administration will become part of the annual "budget baseline" that Congress uses as the new floor when calculating how much to increase spending the following year, and into the future. Democrats insist that it will not. But it’s hard to believe that Congress will cut spending next year on any of these programs from their new, higher levels. The likelihood is that this allegedly emergency spending will become a permanent addition to federal outlays, thus increasing pressure for further tax increases.
Of the $180 billion that AIG has received in bail-out funds, $11.9 was forwarded to Societe Generale, a bank in France; $11.8 billion to Deutsche Bank in Germany; and $8.5 billion to Barclay’s, a bank in England. I wonder if any American taxpayers received a "thank you" card for this.
The original provision in the stimulus bill to require companies receiving funds to use E-Verify to certify the legal working status of their employees was removed from the bill by the Democrats at the last minute. This increases the possibility that jobs created by stimulus funds will be used to hire illegal immigrants, rather than American citizens.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new scholarship program to help Palestinian students. Clinton announced the Middle East Partnership Initiative during a visit to the Palestinian town of Ramallah. Taxpayers can now breathe easier knowing that future Hamas suicide bombers will be well-educated at our expense.