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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obama's Second Term Plan Diagnosis: Déjà Vu

Okay, I'll admit it... all the good titles for this post were used already. What I wanted to use was "does the math add up," but that was taken already. I'll get to that in a second. Moving on, here is the official second term plan from President Barack Obama titled, "A Plan for Jobs and Middle Class Security - The New Economic Patriotism"

See Obama's second term plan here:

The first surprising thing to me is that CNN's Jessica Yellin said, "it's not anything significantly new." - Check it out:

Now yes, I have read this plan front to back. Just like the title says, it's déjà vu. There really is nothing new, and it truly feels like 2008 all over again. There is one sad part about this, however: Other great articles have already been written. In short, I could go through this "plan" line item by line item, showing how it's rhetoric, pie-in-the-sky, old-news policies that didn't rebuild our economy in the first 4 years aren't going to help us in the next 4, but I guess I'm a little late to the party :-/

What am I talking about? Well, to sum it up, Erin Burnett of CNN did a great job calling out the President's plan here (and yes, she is the one that questioned if it "adds up"):

Thanks for stealing my thunder, Erin. :) Though that clip is short, she really hit the economic high points of this bogus plan. You might ask, "well why don't you go in to some of the details?"

"Yes!" I would respond... however, those sneaky folks at The Wall Street Journal beat me to it:

My quick take: Obama's plan, as predicted, calls for raising taxes on the top 2% of earners. Again, this is no surprise, and some how, though we divide the country in to 2% and 98%, this isn't division or class warfare. I've analyzed taxing the wealthy plenty of times, and yes, the math doesn't add up. Perhaps the most telling case of how taxing the wealthy won't help reduce the deficit is seen here:

As you can see, The Wall Street Journal article's author, also correctly highlights:

     - "Perhaps you've heard that the President wants to raise taxes on the top 2% of U.S. taxpayers. If you haven't, well, the pamphlet mentions that once or twice. Left unsaid is that this plan increases revenue only between $50 billion and $80 billion a year, a rounding error in the $1 trillion-plus deficit era. Mr. Obama does claim to have a plan to reduce the gap by $4 trillion over the next decade. Mostly this comes from unwinding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are already being unwound and assorted budget gimmicks."

So sure, I guess I'm guilty of not getting to it first. Basically, I just completely agree with Mrs. Burnett's and the WSJ's analysis of this plan. If I were to write my own opinion, it would be repeating much of what they said. Burnett's quick analysis of the numbers is spot on, and I don't have much to add. I do hope Americans get a chance to see this. If you think continuing on the same path is a good thing, that's your choice. But if Obama tries to claim his plan is something new, there are plenty of us out there that will call him on it.

What do you think? Please share your opinions below.


  1. My opinion on this topic, is that I'm frankly still unhappy and disappointed with Romney not revealing the specifics of his plan. Referring to ambiguous and general examples of ways to pay for a tiny fraction of it but never offering anything definite, does not sit well with me. Particularly when Romney, not Obama, is the one making most of the grand promises here.

    In fact, I'd even go as far to say that Romney comes off more as the one attempting to 'buy' votes through campaign promises than Obama in this election.

    That said, I agree with the criticisms of Obama's plan. I hold him to the same standard as I hold Romney, in that I believe that all of the details should be present. While I respect an attempt to provide something, I can't accept a partial answer. If you say you're going to cut spending by $4Trillion, you better explain how you're doing it down to every dollar.

    Likewise to Romney though, if you're going to add in $7T worth of spending while not only keeping the it deficit neutral, but also cutting the existing deficit, you need to explain how with the details down to the dollar. And well, frankly, Romney has the far taller order to meet here.

    Both of the candidates/campaigns have failed on this topic. But, I'm more concerned with Romney, as once again he's making the bigger promises here (fiscally, at least).

    As a minor note, I also wouldn't call $50/80B a rounding error. That logic/approach will leave is getting no where.

    1. @RKen 'There ya go again'... lol The 'adding $7T in spending' is an OBAMA lie, debunked by the Princeton economist that wrote the VERY study he keeps quoting.

      This one's a 'bit' far right - but includes the DIRECT quote from the writer of the study Obama uses.

      Stephanie Cutter was called on that fact and eventually 'stipulated' the truth in an CNN interview...

      I'm not saying that Romney will be the 'be all end all' to save our economy.

      I know Obama has buried us debt from failed programs and expanded entitlement spending (not counting MC/SS) I CAN see in Obama's plan, the word 'investment' comes up - a LOT. THAT is MORE SPENDING of MORE money we DO NOT have.

      Bacon/Davis insures that ANY government spending on 'infrastructure' will go directly into UNION coffers... TEMPORARY JOBS, at highly inflated taxpayer cost - which do NOTHING for overall unemployment - and are nothing more than a pay off to Obama's 'base'.

      He can raise taxes on 'the rich' all he wants - the FACT remains: Even at our current bloated and wasteful rate of spending, he could tax them at 100% of income and that would STILL not be enough... and his new 'investments' will just add more deficit spending - GUARANTEED.

    2. The $7T figure isn't a lie, Dara. :) Not in the way I’m discussing it. You're mixing up my context in referring to that number.

      $7T is the base cost for Romney's propositions, assuming no plans are passed to counter-balance or pay for his proposals. He does say he plans to pay for them with a series of cuts/elimination of loopholes, but until he says what specific cuts then we can't accurately assume how he aims to pay for them.

      All of the studies you quoted just show that his $7T plans are possible if he cut X, Y, Z, etc... but again, they're making assumptions on what he can cut, without knowing exactly what he will cut.

      That’s my issue.

      You seem to think my reference of the $7T figure, is calling it impossible (as Obama and some others tried to argue). That’s not what I’m saying; I’m saying that he hasn’t provided specifics and he should be.

    3. *sigh* $7T is a made up number... beat to death by the O campaign and repeatedly debunked.

      Governor Romney has supplied specifics. He has said he'll broaden the base and lower the percentages with the exception of the top rate - which he'd leave as is.

      [[And before you squeal about 'capitol gains tax' or 'death tax rate'... remember those are the SECOND taxes on the SAME money. That they're taxed again is already obscene. Raising those taxes would not only be unproductive (as people would just STOP investing) it wouldn't do a THING to lower our debt.]]

      He said he'd remove loopholes and tax shelters that are employed mostly by the rich and corporations (the main reason companies like GE can LEGALLY pay ZERO in income taxes)- and giving ALL of us a standard, flat deduction to apply however we please. That's the tax part.... but wait there's more : )

      Whether you like it or not, Obamacare IS the largest tax increase levied on the American people in our history....Repeal of Obamacare (along with revamping the tax code) will take the pressure off companies, large and small, who are sitting on about a trillion dollars in assets - afraid to hire or expand with that hanging over their heads.

      With 'Taxmaggedon' averted and Ocare gone, more businesses will have more money to expand; they'll hire more people; and those people will become taxpayers (makers) instead of govt. dependents (takers)

      And THEN we have A) savings from govt. programs like UE, welfare and food stamps, etc. - because people with jobs don't need them and B) MORE money going into the federal coffers - because people are working and paying taxes : )

      He'll also delete unneeded and/or duplicate programs by attrition. I mean, really, why do we NEED 48 separate and distinct government bureaucratic agencies who supposedly engage in 'job training'.

      EPA, DOE, TSA, Dept. of Education, etc, etc, would be cut back - or more ideally disbanded at the government level and those jobs turned back to where they belong - the states. If 'it' is NOT enumerated in the Constitution - 'it' belongs at the STATE level.

      Think about it: We send our state tax dollars to 'whatever' govt. agency - they launder it through various ELECTED officials; who launder it again through THEIR APPOINTED bureaucrats; who pay all their paper pushing peons and 'official' office stuff; and THEN send what's LEFT back to the state it initially came from with STRICT instructions on what's to be done with it... that's the definition of NUTS (IMO)

      D. of Ed is a prime example: Back in MY day (before they invented the the states were in charge of their own education dollars; our property tax dollars went to fund them w/in the state. The result was that I received a MUCH better education than my grandkids now get.

      Jimmy Carter came along and in his 'infinite wisdom' decided that needed to be a federal agency... now our tax dollars are recycled through a bunch of big govt. bonehead administrators and agencies, watered down, ripped off and sent back with a governmental teaching 'agenda' - we NOW graduate a multitude of kids who CAN'T EVEN READ.

      If we cut out the government middle man, more dollars will go directly to education with oversight by the PARENTS (yes, like in the 'old days') - instead of being wasted on administration AND indoctrination.

      Heck! Just think about it! With all that overhead and govt. red tape ERASED - we might even be able to afford to pay GOOD teachers MORE money!

      And that's just education! Want more and better paying jobs? Simply REMOVE government from the scenario.

    4. $7T isn't a made-up number, it costs money to cut taxes and expand defense. And the $7T figure is the estimated cost, over 10 years, of enacting both of those plans without paying for them.

      So of course, to keep it deficit neutral as Mitt Romney wishes to, he will have to pay for it with $7T in adjustments. It is possible, and I never said or implied it isn't, but until he provides the details I'll still be disappointed he hasn’t shared them.

      And he didn't "supply the specifics".

      "He said he'd remove loopholes and tax shelters that are employed mostly by the rich and corporations (the main reason companies like GE can LEGALLY pay ZERO in income taxes)- and giving ALL of us a standard, flat deduction to apply however we please. That's the tax part.... but wait there's more : )"

      What loopholes? What tax shelters?

      I want every loophole and tax shelter, and whatever other cuts/adjustments, until the total amount of money saved adds up to exactly $7T. He has not provided that. He has not even provided a fraction of that.

      Neither has Obama though.

      They're both failing to provide the exact details of their plans. Saying something incredibly ambiguous and general like "reduce tax breaks for some people, close loopholes for other people" IS NOT a detail. It's a LACK of details.

    5. Also, I realize that on both sides they tend to like to project some economic expectations as a result of how effective they predict their policies will be (jobs created, GDP growth, etc). Which thereby, will of course increase the revenue.

      I don't like the use of this, as it's presumptuous and often based in little fact with too many unknowns.

      However, even allowing a pass on that... 12 million people could start working a $50,000/year job on Jan 1st of 2014, and we could maintain a 5% rate of GDP growth for the next 10 years solid... And we would still be running a massive deficit for all of the next 10 years.

      Even in that obviously impossible scenario, that would only offset a max of $1.1T.

      Which again, still leaves the majority of Romney's and Obama's budgets unexplained.

  2. $7T is a made up fairy tale... he never said he'd expand the military, just keep Obama's $1/2T+ decimation (sequestration) from happening - he's asked for NO increase in military spending.

    What you don't seem to get is that when people who have NOT been working - and are living on government subsidies get jobs, it's a DOUBLE tick for the economy.

    A person with a job:

    A) pays taxes into the fed (ADDED $$ INTO the govt. coffers) AND

    B) No longer needs the government services he/she has been using. (LESS spent FROM those govt. coffers)

    And unlike what Pelosi said re: unemployment - a REAL job DOES stimulate the surrounding economy. Keystone Pipeline is a prime example. Not only would the workers have jobs... the surrounding area begins to thrive due to the workers needing lodging, food, gasoline, entertainment, etc. etc. etc.

    I've seen this in action! We LIVE in mining country. Elko, NV went from a near ghost town to booming - due to thriving area Gold Mines. Not just the miners make it... we actually have decent paying non-mining jobs that we can not fill!

    Obama keeps adding/subtracting the same #'s twice, as in $ saved leaving Iraq (which is already a done deal, but he added as future savings)and later Afghanistan/double counting the $ he stole from Medicare, etc.

    A loophole is a loophole - a deduction used to lower the amt of tax you pay... kinda like Obama AND his wife EACH 'gifting' their daughters $14,000 EACH - $56,000 TOTAL (which is about what we EARN each year BEFORE taxes) tax free to lower THEIR tax burden.

    He keeps saying 'I don't need those things' so... why did he do it? A: Because it's 'out there' and anyone who doesn't is a dummy... Romney will CLOSE such loopholes for the 'millionaires and billionaires' that Obama soooo hates (even though he IS one)

    He'll leave in place SOME deductions for the middle class. (I remember when Reagan removed the deduction for credit card debt - it was icky and I whined for a year - and then we adjusted.)

    So, in essence, although Romney's plan does not raise tax RATES for the rich, they WILL be leaving more money in the system.

    PLUS - with tax RATES set into stone (for awhile at least) - and the Ocare nightmare behind us... Entrepreneurs will get fired up, start up new businesses; existing businesses will expand - people WILL BE working, spending their money in the new businesses - and more tax revenue will come in from ALL of them, as well.

    The free market is self sustaining/self regulating. Without govt. intervention those who are destined to fail... do so. Those who thrive expand. That's the way it's SUPPOSED to be... survival of the fittest.

    Once the government BACKS OFF and lets the private sector jump start ITSELF the economy will reset and then we can gradually go about the cuts and reforms that are NECESSARY to keep us from becoming GREECE.

    The alternative (with Obama) is to keep on the way we are - his NEW 'plan' is the OLD one on steroids - because he'll have ZERO checks and balances in his second term - see: 900+ Executive Orders (bypassing Congress) to date and 'After my election, I'll have more flexibility.'

    The end result of four more of Obama... IS most assuredly - Greece.

    1. Dara, your explanation of the "double tick" for the economy is perfect. People seem to not be able to understand this for some reason. It's plain as day. Thank you.