By Tom Quiner

Barack Obama famously slammed Republicans in 2008 when he said, “I won, you lost.”

He governed accordingly. He made it clear that his campaign rhetoric, that he was going to reach across the aisle, was just that, rhetoric.

We witnessed how disinterested he was in bipartisanship with the passage of Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

Now he has been re-elected. His rhetoric is much the same, based on this comment yesterday:

“And I just want to point out this was a central question during the election. It was debated over and over again. And on Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach.”

Actually, that’s not quite right. Exit polling asked voters that very question:

“Should taxes be raised to help cut the budget deficit?”

Voters overwhelmingly said no, on a 2 to 1 basis.

Besides, I’m not sure that’s the way to talk when you’re going into critical negotiations with the opposite party on how to solve the fiscal cliff.

Mr. Obama’s tax hike on America’s most productive workers, those earning over $250,000 per year, would only add $82 Billion per year to federal coffers. This would make about a 7.5% dent in our $1.1 Trillion annual deficit. And it may not even make that big of a dent, as the cost of these new taxes may decrease the productivity of these affluent earners and the amount of tax they pay.

Tax increases and cuts are always dynamic, and not static, in their net effect.

In other words, if you increased tax rates to 99%, people would stop working, because work wasn’t worth it anymore.

The only way to get the deficit under control is to get entitlements under control. Obama made it worse by cutting Medicare $716 Billion to help pay for Obamacare.

He made one entitlement less secure fiscally while he was establishing a new one.

Let us hope the two sides can work together as thinking adults to address the spending side of the ledger.

3 Comments

  1. illero on November 11, 2012 at 6:51 am

    However, as I understand it, the $716B “cut” to Medicare is not a cut at all, but – as we have seen in other areas of spending — a “slowing of the growth” of Medicare expenditures. There may be no perfectly objective assessment of either the impact of the $716B slowdown in Medicare spending growth or the impact of alternate proposed plans – not sure we laymen will know until after the fact – a scary scenario. But to your point of making Medicare “less secure fiscally” by slowing its growth by $716B, isn’t cutting the rate of increase in Medicare expenditures absolutely necessary in order to make the program (or any alternative) fiscally sound?

  2. olemike on November 11, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I enjoy reading your blog. However, isn’t our annual deficit really 1.1 Trillion?

    • quinersdiner on November 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Yes, thanks for the correction.

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