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Economically Illiterate

Bill Neinast


Several weeks ago, a radio commentator mentioned that he thought President Obama was a very smart man but that he was economically illiterate.  That seemed harsh at the time.

Shortly thereafter, however, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he could no longer negotiate on the budget with the President.  His reason was that Obama stated and believed that there was not a spending problem.

As if reading from the President’s script, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in that inimical smile, announced February 10 on Fox News Sunday that America does not have a spending problem. “It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem,” Pelosi insisted.

Still on the same script on the same day on NBC’s Meet the Press, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, claimed that the sequester was “designed as a budget threat, not as a budget strategy.” He stated that the only approach to solving the budget problem was to raise taxes again.

That commentator was right.  All three of these leaders of the left are economic idiots.

Their clique includes at least one more.  The other is the exuberant woman interviewed on TV just after Obama’s election in 2008.  While gushing about all the goodies that were now going to come her way, she was asked where the money would come from for all that manna.  Her answer was, “From Obama’s stash.”

Even people who are not rocket scientists know where to find Obama’s stash.  That cache is the pockets of American tax payers.  More specifically, it is the pockets of productive citizens who are not paying their fair share of taxes.

Anyone with a checkbook knows that there has to be a balance between income and outgo.  If they take more out of their bank account than they put in, they are in debt and have to pay a penalty.

They have two choices to avoid another penalty.  They can spend less or earn more.  If there is no practical way to earn more, their choices are cut in half.  They will just have to quit spending so much.  Conversely, if another source of income can be tapped, the spending can proliferate.

This simplistic lesson in personal economics applies equally to the government.

Currently, our Congress and President have spent over 16 trillion dollars more than they have “earned.”  The red ink continues to darken by each passing moment.

The President says, however, “Don’t worry, we’ll staunch the flowing red ink, pay off the debt, and balance future budgets with revenue enhancements.”

The revenue enhancements he talks about is “newspeak” for taxes. 

The term newspeak comes from George Orwell’s 1984.  As noted in that book, the purpose of newspeak is to intentionally confuse and mislead a population so they will willingly accept ideas which,  if fully understood, they would oppose.  It is a form of propaganda.

With this newspeak, Obama can claim he is not going back on his words of just a few weeks ago while maneuvering the extension of the nation’s debt limit.  Back then, it was, “Just let me increase the taxes on the wealthy now.  Then we can talk about reducing spending to avoid sequestration.”

So here’s the perspective.

The President is about as honest as can be expected from a Chicago politician.

His revenue was enhanced by letting the taxes go back up on the middle class workers and by getting an increase of income tax rates on individuals with annual incomes of more than $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.

Another revenue enhancement is rarely mentioned in the press.  On Jan. 1, a new tax kicked in under Obama Care.  Now sales of medical devices are subject to a 2.5% tax.  That revenue enhancement seems to be at odds with another promise of the President that Obama Care would reduce the cost of Medicare.

If the President adds more revenue enhancements to these two, and continues to insist there is no spending problem, he will prove the commentator’s point that he is economically illiterate.