American Jobs Act: Fact or Fiction?

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...
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I listened to Obama’s American Jobs Act speech last night and I must confess; I was impressed.  It was very well written.  Whoever wrote it did a brilliant job.  It was well paced, full of catchy and patriotic slogans, and designed to appeal to the masses.  Unfortunately, it was also total BS!  It was the same old progressive liberal “song and dance” in new clothing … just like I predicted it would be.  Much of it sounds so good on the surface and shallow-thinkers will tout its fairness and praise Obama for his efforts. 

The plan Obama laid out Thursday night in his speech would cost nearly $450 billion and would increase and extend a payroll tax cut for workers that goes to Social Security. It also provides a tax cut to employers. You can argue that some of this will help in the short-term, but most of Obama’s proposals actually stand very little chance of ever being implemented, at least without the backing of congressional Republicans.  And, that may not be very likely!

The truth is Obama is trying to set up a “win-win” scenario for his re-election campaign: 

  • Win v.1: If Congress passes his plan, Obama will be seen as the hero who saved the day (at least until the problems in his plan become clear some time down the road).  I am sure he is betting this will happen after November 2012.
  • Win v.2: If congress does not pass his plan, he can point to them and say, “See, I tried to do something to save the day and the republicans would not work with me.  It is their fault.  And in this version, the problems with his plan never truly surface.

What are the problems with his Obama’s job plan you might ask.  There are plenty.  First, let’s examine a few of the claims he make in his speech:

Obama claim #1: Everything in this bill will be paid for.

The Facts: Nowhere did Obama say exactly how he would pay for the measures contained in his nearly $450 billion American Jobs Act.  All he said was that he would send his proposed specifics in a week to the new congressional super committee charged with finding budget savings. White House aides have suggested that the new short-term deficit spending to stimulate job creation would be paid for in the future but they did not say what would be cut or what revenues they would use. So in reality, Obama’s jobs plan is simply a “promissory note” from a president and lawmakers who will probably not be in office when the bills come due. Any future Congress could simply decide not to pay that bill. So there is no kind of guarantee his program (that clearly will increase annual deficits in the short-term) will ever be paid for in the long-term.

Obama claim #2: Everything in this proposal has been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, including many who sit here tonight.”

The facts: Obama’s proposed cut in the Social Security payroll tax would seem likely to receive significant Republican support. However, Obama proposes paying for the plan in part with tax increases that have already generated very strong Republican opposition.

Obama again proposes to end Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (which he has defined as couples earning over $250,000 a year or people earning over $200,000 a year), saying that the wealthy need to pay “their fair share.”  This should come as no surprise to anyone since it has been the liberal’s standard modus operandi for decades.  In his speech, Obama even mentioned his good buddy, Warren Buffett, who according to this speech, asked Obama to remove a loop-hole that Buffett uses to avoid paying taxes so he can also “pay his fair share.”   So does Warren Buffett actually have to take advantage of the loop-hole?  Why is Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, involved in a legal battle with the IRS now to avoid paying $1 billion in back taxes … if Warren Buffett so truly wants to pay his fair share?  Who gets to decide what that “fair Share” is?  Progressive-liberal radicals? What a bunch of Bull Shit!

I am not wealthy!  I am not even upper middle class! But, even I can see the “wrong” in liberals wanting to “steal” the hard –earned money of successful people and “redistributing” it to their voters. When the government starts taking the property of its citizens in the name of some perceived and mutable notion of “fair,” then that government has just lost its right to exist!

But what are the facts surrounding the idea of the wealthy paying their fair share? The facts are that the wealthy already do pay their fair share! The top 5 percent of wage earners in this country (this includes all income, not just wages, but excludes Social Security) pay 53.25 % of all income taxes, the top 10 % pay 64.89 % of all taxes, the top 25 % pay 82.9 % of all taxes, the top 50 % pay 96.03 % of all taxes, and the top 1 percent is paying more than ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50 percent.

How about the bottom 50 percent of wage earners (which, by the way, includes me)? We pay 3.97 % of all income taxes. In addition, an estimated 43.4 percent of Americans do not even pay federal income tax. Shouldn’t Obama be asking for that 43.4 percent and the bottom 50 percent to pay their “fair share”?

This is why Tea Party members say no to new taxes and work to curb the government’s out-of-control spending; and why many Republicans have adamantly blocked what they view as new taxes without first making real and needed cuts in wasteful government spending. As recently as last month, House Republicans refused to go along with any deal to raise the government’s borrowing authority that included new revenues, or taxes.

Obama claim #3: The American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit.

The Facts: It simply not true that this program will not raise the deficit over the next year or two.  That is because most of Obama’s envisioned spending cuts and tax increases will have to come later on down the road out of fear that, if enacted now, they will jeopardize the fragile “recovery.”  Deficits are calculated over each year. The accumulation of years of deficit spending has produced a national debt headed toward $15 trillion. Maybe Obama simply meant to say that he hoped his programs would not further increase the national debt.

Obama claim #4: The American Jobs Act meets the urgent need to create jobs right away.

The Facts: Obama’s plan meets his need to make the government even bigger and more powerful. And, not all the president’s major proposals are likely to yield quick job growth if adopted. One such proposal is to set up a new national infrastructure bank to raise private capital for roads, rail, bridges, airports and waterways. Even supporters of such a bank doubt it could have much impact on jobs in the next two years because it takes time to set up. The idea will run into opposition from most conservatives because such a bank would simply give the federal government way too much power. It makes much more sense to divide money among already existing state infrastructure banks, but that is not in keeping with the socialist agenda … is it?

So how would you describe Obama’s speech?  I am not a big fan of Karl Rove, but I do like how he described Obama’s speech using 12 words in a recent article on FoxNews.com.  Here are just a few of them:

  • Presumptuous: According to Rove, during the speech Obama demanded no less than 17 times that Congress immediately pass a bill no one has seen.  I did not count, but I did hear that phrase used many times.
  • Mind-boggling: Obama wants to again steal hundreds of billions from Social Security for another stimulus. Wait a minute … isn’t that supposed to be what the liberal democrats accuse the Tea Party of wanting to do … destroy social security?
  • Arrogant: Obama refused to consult with anyone about his plan in advance?  Well, we all know he is pretty arrogant
  • Unnecessary: Yep!  Should have watched a football game or Jeopardy! 
  • Completely political: What did you expect?
How about cutting back on some government waste, redundancy, and inefficiency to pay for some of your American Jobs Act programs.  Again just a few examples:
  • 342 economic development programs
  • 130 programs serving the disabled
  • 130 programs serving at-risk youth
  • 90 early childhood development programs
  • 75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities
  • 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water
  • 50 homeless assistance programs
  • 45 federal agencies conducting federal criminal investigations

Related articles

Deficit concerns loom over Obama’s jobs package (cbsnews.com)

The American Jobs Act: Rhetoric & Attacking Incentive Lives On (247wallst.com)

Obama Presents American Jobs Act (Video) (lezgetreal.com)

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