Congressional Republicans have done their deficit duty.
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And already scheduled under current U.S. law for 2013? Increases in the top tax rates of every major federal tax, apart from the already too-high corporate tax rate. Why? Because the Obamacare taxes become effective that year, and the Bush tax cuts expire. So the top two income tax rates will go up nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will go up nearly 60%, the tax on corporate dividends will nearly triple, and the Medicare payroll tax will go up 62% for the nation’s small businesses, job creators and investors.
Yet, on Monday night, President Obama called for a “balanced” solution to the nation’s spending, deficit and debt crisis. This means still more tax increases on the nation’s “millionaires and billionaires” — you know, those absurdly rich people making over $200,000 a year if they are single and $250,000 if they are married. The House-approved Republican budget returns federal taxes to their long-term historical postwar average. Any tax increases above that would just finance higher spending, which is exactly what President Obama is after.
These are central reasons why there has been no recovery from the last recession, and why a record number of Americans find themselves in poverty.
Obama also told the nation Monday night that he wants to “ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries.” This is another false truism that is widely circulated on the Left. The allegation arises because capital gains income is taxed at 15%, while individual income tax rates range far higher than that. But as I explain in my book, capital income is taxed multiple times, not just by the capital gains tax. It is taxed at least four times: by the capital gains tax, the individual income tax, the corporate income tax, and the death tax. That is why the most fair (as well as the most economically productive) rate for the capital gains tax would be zero — as is the case in much of the industrialized world.
The pretend President helpfully suggested that “most Americans don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare benefits before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.” But his Obamacare law essentially asks seniors to pay more for their Medicare benefits. It requires them to pay 40% to 200% more if they, in the President’s infinite wisdom, earn too much.
Note also the tax break for corporate jet owners was adopted in the Obama stimulus to create jobs in corporate jet manufacturing. It is so trivial it is not even worth talking about. But, again, Obama thinks he can manipulate a majority into hating on “the rich,” “millionaires and billionaires,” and the evil corporations.
Finally on Monday night, he threatened America’s seniors, saying that if House Republicans don’t agree to his tax increase to increase the debt limit, “we would not have enough money to pay the bills — bills that include monthly Social Security checks.” That was a shameful threat.
The Social Security trust funds include $2.7 trillion in government bonds, which are due and payable when needed to pay Social Security benefits. While those bonds are explicitly not transferable — and so cannot be sold to the public to raise money — under prior practice they would be cashed out by selling new government bonds to the public. Since the Social Security trust-fund bonds are included in the national debt subject to the debt limit, they can be replaced by new public bonds without the total debt going over the limit. Moreover, those Social Security trust-fund bonds are explicitly backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. That means President Obama is constitutionally required to pay them when needed to pay Social Security benefits. In addition, there is more than enough general revenue coming in to just cash out the trust fund bonds as necessary in any event, even without issuing any new public bonds.
As a result, President Obama is required to pay Social Security benefits, under his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Not paying those benefits would be an impeachable offense.
And therein may lie the only timely solution to our
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?