We don’t expect veracity from politicians, particularly when they’re on the campaign trail. But the whoppers President Barack Obama has been telling about taxes risk earning him the moniker President Pinocchio.
This past week the president told voters he wants to take tax policy back to the Clinton years, when rates were higher and the economy was flourishing.
But back then, everyone was paying higher tax rates.
Obama is targeting just higher earners — the investors, small business people and job creators. He’s selling the con that if their rates go up, Clinton-era prosperity will return.
He omits the obvious: High taxes didn’t build the strong economy of the 1990s.
It was fueled by a tech and real estate boom that eventually busted. The budget surplus Clinton left behind was a result of the expanding economy, and of the spending restraint imposed by a Republican Congress.
Raising taxes on the rich won’t produce similar results, and Obama knows it.
For one thing, thanks to the tax uncertainty he’s created and the stifling regulations he’s placed on business, no private sector boom is in sight.
For another, what’s true today is what was true in 2010, when Obama extended the lower tax rates, saying the negative impact on job-creating small businesses would damage a fragile economy.
The economy is growing at half the pace it was in 2010, and unemployment is rising.
All that’s changed is Obama has built a re-election campaign on class warfare, and is hell-bent on sating the left’s decade-long obsession with raising taxes on the wealthy.
As part of his disingenuous pitch, the president claims Romney would raise taxes on the middle class by $2,000 per person to fund deep tax cuts “for people like himself.” He’s making that up.
Romney actually would cut taxes on all earners by 20 percent and drop the corporate tax to a more competitive 25 percent. And House Republicans passed an extension of current rates for everyone.
But nobody on the GOP side has pitched a middle class tax hike, as the president claims. And the president is not offering the middle class a tax break, as he pretends.
Obama’s also fibbing about the impact of his tax hike. He insists it will wipe away the deficit. It won’t. It will raise $40 billion annually, a small piece of the $1.5 trillion Obama deficit. And that’s if the tax doesn’t slow growth, as it surely would.
The biggest lie Obama tells is that he is seeking “fairness” in taxation. But if you judge fairness by progressivity, then America already has the fairest tax system in the world.
What he’s really seeking is to tie the tax code to his far-left ideology. Take more from the rich and he can give more to the poor, and make them more dependent on the federal government and the liberal politicians who protect it.
The president knows he’s lying about taxes.
If voters aren’t smart enough to recognize that, then, to mangle Mencken, they deserve to get the government they vote for, good and hard.
(Follow Nolan Finley at detroitnews.com/finley, on Twitter at nolanfinleydn, on Facebook at nolanfinleydetnews and watch him at 7:30 p.m. Fridays on “MiWeek” on Detroit Public TV, Channel 56. Originally posted on The Michigan View.)