It is of course one of the rallying cries of the far right wing, tea party faction of the Republican party (“you know, morons”) who love to trot out this talking point. It is of course totally baseless and contrary to the facts. Now of course these idiots don’t give a lick about facts, but I’m assuming that you do. So here they are when confronted by this talking point at work, church, family get-togethers, Twitter or Facebook.
President Obama has yet to raise anyone’s taxes. In fact in addition to extending the destructive Bush Tax cuts for all income earners for an additional two years, he’s implemented a “payroll tax holiday” by cutting FICA withholding that ended up giving the average American working family an additional $2,000.00 a year, that they in turn have spent, thus stimulating the economy during this recession. Looking at the statistics, federal taxes are currently, in reality, under Obama our federal tax rate are at the lowest rate in over 30 years, even lower than under Ronald Reagan
Per Politifact, with a few minor deviations, taxes are actually lower than at any time in the past 50 years, which for those of you not too keen on linear time, predates Ronald Reagan:
So it is clear that President Obama has not raised taxes. In fact, he’s only advocating raising taxes for any income over $250,000.00.
To clarify, the first $250,000.00 remains under the Bush tax rates and the amount over $250,000.00 would be taxed an additional .03% or three cents on each dollar.
Further, this would only apply to the 2% of individuals or 3% of business that earn that much in the country.
This in not anywhere near the tax hike implemented by Bill Clinton in 1993, that didn’t destroy the economy as all Republicans at the time said.
Now to the spending talking point:
In advocating lower taxes, the right-wing insists that the main culprit in our deficit is excessive federal spending, and go so far as to say that President Obama has increased federal spending more than any president in history. Well again, this isn’t true it is in fact a bald face lie.
A few facts those who advocate this tend to leave out.
First of all, President Bush neglected to ever place the two wars he waged on the books. When Obama took office, he did. In short, he acknowledged federal spending already underway from his predecessor.
Further; TARP, that bailed out the banking industry was a Bush administration idea, not Obama’s. It was in fact pushed by House minority leader (at the time) John Boehner.
Finally, the stimulus that Obama pushed was mostly tax cuts for businesses and wealthiest Americans, not spending. So it did add to the deficit, but not the spending.
So what are the historic facts regarding federal spending under Barack Obama?
Well, he has actually presided over the smallest increase of federal spending since Dwight David Eisenhower.
In fiscal year 2009, federal spending under George W. Bush increased 17.9% for policies and spending he enacted. In fiscal 2010, (Obama’s first budget) spending actually fell 1.8%. Under current projections by the Congressional Budget Office, at the end of Obama’s fourth year in office, federal spending is set to increase only .4% for all four years.
Now, 17.9% for last year of Bush to only .4% for end of Obama’s first term. Hardly the largest increase this century let alone since Eisenhower.
From Market Watch:
Many want to cite spending and debt as it relates to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Well here are the charts that explain that for the past several years to include Bush through the last four years of Obama. Look at the trend; it continues to improve from Bush’s last year in office.
And another article with charts going over this “Big Fat GOP Budget Lie” that clearly explains the phenomena in terms even a tea bagger could understand.
To sum up in one chart:
No, President Obama isn’t spending the country into oblivion. The only additional spending he’s advocating for are for those things that both Democratic and Republican Presidents have advocated for over the past 100+ years to stimulate our economy and invest in our future. What’s more, as a percentage of GDP, historically it’s nothing especiall compared to World War II.
Now this doesn’t jive with the Grover Norquist narrative to justify even lower taxes and even lower spending, to justify more austerity to keep the wealthiest Americans and corporations (who he lobbies for) wealthy. What he advocates is the same type of austerity Greece has undertaken. See how well that’s worked out for them.
Ed Schultz sums up spending lie:
If they have to make things up and lie to get their point across, maybe it’s because they know they have nothing. Don’t let these lies go unchallenged. They facts are ours to exploit and theirs to ignore. Afterall, like true lemmings, the GOP will in order to maintain their narrative and ignorance of reality, run over the fiscal cliff because that’s what lemmings do. We don’t have to follow them because we research, think and accept reality.
Oh, and just an added bonus for when you confront others who decide they must defend the wealthiest Americans from having to pay more taxes because they already pay a higher share of all federal tax revenues; well the 1% control 40% of the nation’s wealth and per Bush Press Secretary Ari Fletcher, pay a staggering 28.1% towards federal tax revenues. It would be nice if they paid a percentile commensurate to the percentage of the nation’s wealth they control, don’t you think?