More “Muppet” than “Buffet” – Obama goes for populist message instead of leadership on tax.

President Obama’s “Buffet Rule” Tax push on millionaires represents most of what his term in office has come down to; lots of rhetoric filled with theatrics and little or no long term beneficial substance for the nation. President Obama himself said Wednesday, “Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit, Well, I agree.”

The so-called Buffett Rule, which aims to set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for Americans who earn more than $1 million annually. The president theatrically surrounded himself with some wealthy campaign contributors to make another pitch for a higher tax rate on the country’s biggest earners, even at one stage suggesting President Reagan would have supported it.

I use the term Muppet, instead of Buffet, as the current administrations cynicism, theatrics and contempt at which they treat the public is bordering on a scene from the “Muppet Show.” The White House honestly believes ordinary Americans, and others,  are not intelligent enough to see this latest stunt as nothing more then politicking at its worst.

If the President respectfully was serious about addressing the nations’ financial woes and put as much effort into getting the United States Democratic Controlled Senate to pass a budget, that would do more good for the nation and the economy, then the $49 billion the Buffet rule would bring in over ten years. The U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in almost 1080 days surely as president and leader of the nation, this serious matter deserves more than a fleeting moment of his time and attention.

President Obama’s claim that the Buffett Rule “is something that will get us moving in the right direction toward fairness” would be more convincing if his actions where more reflective of such rhetoric too. Three years into his presidency, President Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform, arguably the most important aspect for repairing America’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth. The fact is, this is a president who appointed the Simpson-Bowles commission only to then completely ignore its findings and is devoid of  purposeful ideas. He has failed to lead on tax reform and will no doubt return to more rhetoric about Congress failing to act, when it is voted down in Congress next week.

Where the president and Washington have got it wrong is their disregard for the ordinary person. Yes inequality is a huge and growing problem across America, and in other countries however; it is not a “Fair-Share” as President Obama argues that people want pushed. People want a “Fair-Society” where there are opportunities for personal and business growth, success and financial reward.

It should be every leader’s aspiration to create the circumstances to get as many people into the workplace as possible, not become dependent on the state for handouts. How can it be a “Fair-Share” when you are penalised for success if you attain it. If government steps back and respects individual liberty, successful people will reinvest in the economy and it will involve more people in the work environment ultimately delivering a better, more prosperous and “Fair-Society.”

Make no mistake about President Obama’s attempt to frame this as an issue of social equality; it has nothing to do with equality, or any tangible benefit except for the president, as the “Buffett Rule” polls well.

How much time has the president spent trying to sell this $49 billion Buffet Rule to the American people compared to solving the spending and deficit issues in Washington? American’s and others looking on, are not stupid Mr. President. It is a pity that a presidency which promised so much at the outset has become so arrogant in their belief that they can treat their public likes a bunch of Muppet’s.

The fact is yesterday’s speech and this populist token exercise has nothing to do with growing the American economy or tackling the more serious issues facing the nation. It does not serve the American people, it is fundamentally and solely electioneering at its worst.

Unfortunately, this presidency has lacked any real ambition or effort at meaningful tax reform. If the president and his administration believe the “Muppet Rule” will fool the ordinary American in exchange for their vote well, I believe ordinary American people are a lot smarter for themselves then the Obama administration believe them to be. Sadly, sound bites have well and truly replaced substance in modern American public service and politics while the people fail to be served.

President Obama calls Ryan’s Budget – Social Darwinism

President Barack Obama launched another attack on Tuesday this time on congressional Republicans for their budget proposal calling it “social Darwinism” that would stifle the American dream. The attack came a day after comments by the president seen by many as a veiled threat towards the Supreme Court in their consideration of his controversial Obamacare legislation.

In a speech to a media luncheon, Obama described the measure produced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and passed by the House as a “Trojan Horse” that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a “radical vision.”  The speech like the previous month was aimed to coincide with a big Republican primary day however, it also marked 1,070 days since the Democratic controlled Senate led by Senator Harry Reid – Arizona last passed a budget.

President Obama in his comments described the GOP budget proposal  as “Thinly-veiled Social Darwinism, It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.”

He added that “by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development; infrastructure — it’s a prescription for decline.”

The remarks by President Obama’s coincided with GOP Front runner – Mitt Romney was set to sweep to three primary victories in the GOP race and appears ever more likely to be President Obama’s challenger in November’s election. For the first time this year, Obama mentioned the former Massachusetts governor by name in a speech, noting Romney’s support for the Ryan budget plan.

“One of my potential opponents, Gov. Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced on day one of his presidency,” Obama said. “He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing a budget.”

Ryan and other Republican leaders immediately criticized the Obama speech as a politically motivated appeal to populism, rather than a serious approach to budget deficits. This point will not escape many observers who have grown increasingly concerned at the out of control spending and annual trillion dollar deficit’s under the Obama Administration.

“History will not be kind to a president who, when it came time to confront our generation’s defining challenge, chose to duck and run,” Ryan said in a statement. “The president refuses to take responsibility for the economy and refuses to offer a credible plan to address the most predictable economic crisis in our history. Instead, he has chosen tired and cynical political attacks as he focuses on his own re-election.”

According to Ryan, Obama used his speech to “distort the truth and divide Americans in order to distract from his failed record.”

Obama, however, blamed a polarized political climate for an inability to make progress on such key issues as deficit reduction and entitlement reform, arguing that Republicans have shifted to the right and dropped support for moderate proposals acceptable to Democrats.

“The problem right now is not the technical means to solve it. The problem is our politics, and that’s part of what this election and what this debate will need to be about,” Obama said in response to a question at the end. “Are we, as a country, willing to get back to commonsense, balanced, fair solutions that encourage our long-term economic growth and stabilize our budget?”

He repeated his longstanding support for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes increased tax revenue through higher rates on the wealthy.

Obama again called for adoption of the so-called Buffett rule, a proposal that would have all Americans making more than $1 million pay at least a 30% tax rate. The Senate is expected to vote on a form of the proposal named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who has complained that the current tax code allows him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The president has increasingly attempted to frame the upcoming election as one of choice between his policies against the Republican’s who want to cut spending and lower taxes to bring the deficit under control and stimulate economic growth. The devil is in the detail as they say, the truth is that the majority of President Obama’s major policy initiatives to date, have either being shrouded in controversy, or failed to deliver the results he promised. President Obama is entering the campaign run-in with a distinct lack of proven success from his first term in office and his only chance of winning a second term is to portray the other option as an even worse option. How many American’s would have expected this as a real choice four years ago? You cannot grow an economy when the leader of your nation attacks business leaders at every speech and fundraiser he gives that is the harsh reality.

The most concerning aspect of President Obama’s term in office is his failure to deliver in his promise to unite Americans, any independent observer or commentator will find it hard to recall a time  in recent history when the nation was more divided than it is at present.

President Obama enjoyed control of the Senate and House of Representatives in his first two years in office. He made the fundamental error of not focussing on sorting out the troubled economy then instead choosing to push through ill thought out and considered healthcare legislation that many believe was dictated by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

 

Republicans Should Capitalize on Obama Budget to Nowhere

Class warfare has become a central theme of the Obama campaign.  In his 2013 budget released earlier this week, President Obama proposed major tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans – those making $200,000 per year or families making over $250,000.  Indeed, the “debt reduction” that the president claims is dependent largely on these tax increases alone. Class warfare and raising taxes on the rich may be beneficial to his political campaign, but it is bad for the economy as it merely redistributes wealth, not create it.  The Republican nominee needs to be committed to capitalism and battle the President’s class warfare, big government, Keynesian economic rhetoric using free-market principles, stressing economic growth, job creation, and wealth creation through lower taxes, less regulation, and smaller government.  Despite what the President claims, his budget does not promote growth and has the potential to be a weak spot that Republicans can capitalize on.

Included in the President’s proposal is around $1.5 trillion in new revenue coming from tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations.  These tax raises take various forms; a 9% raise in capital gains tax rates, the dividends rate jumps 25% from 15-40%, the carried interest tax on investment partnerships rise from 15 to 39.6%, and the estate tax rises to 40%.  In addition, the budget calls for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire, raising the top-level income tax rates to 39.6%.  Then there’s the new “Warren Buffet Rule“, which requires all those making more than $1 million per year pay at least 30% of their gross income in taxes.

English: President Barack Obama signs the Tax ...

Obama signing The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010

Perhaps the most damning, however, is the tax hike on businesses; Obama has yet to announce his new corporate tax rates, but included in the budget is a “financial crisis responsibility fee” on large banks that amounts to $61 billion, taxing energy companies $30 billion over a decade by ending tax cuts, $148 billion in new taxes on multinational corporations, and another $87 billion by changing how businesses value their inventory. Continue reading

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