Obama’s latest "Deficit Reduction Plan", announced today was, as expected, a joke. Among other things, he’s still making the ludicrous claim that Obamacare reduces the deficit, and is an integral part of deficit reduction or something. There were little specifics other than the fact that at least half of his speech was devoted to, you guessed it, spending proposals. Here’s an example:
We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs I care about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs. We’ll invest in medical research and clean energy technology. We’ll invest in new roads and airports and broadband access. We will invest in education and job training. We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.
And so it goes. It was a typically unserious deficit reduction plan from an increasingly unserious President who has no clue what he’s doing. The funniest part of his speech — perhaps funny is not the correct descriptive given the depth of the doo-doo we’re in with this guy — was his contention that tax increases are now spending cuts. I had to read this part twice:
The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.
More rhetorical flatulence from Obama’s teleprompter. Reduce spending in the tax code? It’s magic…tax increases are now spending cuts, and we all have a big tax increase, er…spending reduction in the tax code, to look forward to in about 20 months. That ought to motivate the nation’s entrepreneurs to expand their payrolls, right? Make no mistake, we will all be paying for Obama’s tax hikes, whether it’s through higher prices, fewer jobs, or lower wages. In addition, Obama’s energy policies are already creating an additional tax on everyone, call it the Obama Green Energy Fantasy Tax, through much higher energy costs. Every product we buy which requires energy for production and/or transportation, which pretty much includes everything, is affected. When you put all this together, you get a slower economy, more government transfer payments, and higher deficits. That’s economics 101. In short, raising taxes will not close the deficit. Obama closes his speech with another laugher:
In the coming years, if the recovery speeds up and our economy grows faster than our current projections, we can make even greater progress than I have pledged here.
Um, not much chance of the economy growing faster than expected under your policies, Big Guy.
Related: Ed Morrissey’s analysis of Obama’s tax and spending plan here.
Update: I neglected to mention that the only area Obama did mention specific spending cuts was in the one area the government is actually supposed to spend money: defense. Terrific. Obama just committed America to a third warkinetic military action, and this is where he wants to cut.
Update II: The author of what is still the only serious deficit plan offered so far, Paul Ryan, reacts to Obama’s latest farce:
Update III: I somehow missed this the first time around (most likely because I had the same reaction to Obama’s speech as Joe Biden). At any rate, Obama actually uttered the following today:
We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt.