Thank You Mr. President !
During the presidential campaign you stole the Republican’s Issue. The stump speech given by your campaign (and the future TOTUS) kept talking about the over-spending of President Bush and the Republican congress. Your platform was about fiscal responsibility and cutting taxes (to 95% of the country).
That argument was very popular in taxpayer land. It was also the argument that the GOP has used successfully for years. What gave Obama’s argument legitimacy was that republican’s talked that game but acted differently.
In less than 70 days since he took office the POTUS/TOTUS has proven to be an “uber” tax and spend Democrat, and as a result he has handed the GOP back its “issue.” The question now is will the GOP return to its lower taxes/fiscal responsibility roots, not just with words, but with deeds:
Obama Points Back to the GOP’s Future
The president has made taxes and spending the big issues again.
By KARL ROVE
Something powerful is stirring in the land, and it may not be good news for President Barack Obama, his agenda or the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama said Tuesday night his budget moves America “from an era of borrow and spend” to “save and invest.” But people are realizing he would add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, doubling it in six years and nearly tripling it in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). How can that be “save and invest”?
In his inaugural address, Mr. Obama told us, “The stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.” He wants to turn to new issues of education, health care and green jobs, which he plugged at every opportunity in Tuesday’s press conference.
Suddenly, though, it doesn’t seem like a time of new politics and new concerns. Many Americans are anxious — and in some cases angry — about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama’s radical budget, his administration’s slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government’s size and cost.
In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.
Last fiscal year, the deficit was $459 billion. For this fiscal year, it was $569 billion when Mr. Obama took office. Under his proposals, another $1.276 trillion will be added to the deficit this year, for a total of $1.845 trillion.
The CBO says deficits will fall for three years to $658 billion, still nearly 50% larger than any past deficit. After that, deficits go back up every year, reaching the trillion-dollar a year mark again in nine years. By 2019, the debt would reach 82.4% of GDP, a level not seen since 1947. With astonishing candor, even Peter Orszag, the president’s budget director conceded these levels of deficits and debt are “unsustainable.”
About Karl Rove
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy making process.
Before Karl became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.
Karl writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is now writing a book to be published by Simon & Schuster. Email the author at [email protected] or visit him on the web at Rove.com.
Or, you can send him a Tweet @karlrove.
Federal spending will under Mr. Obama top $4 trillion this year. This translates into 28.5% of GDP — a level exceeded only at the height of World War II. According to the president’s plans, spending will thereafter slow for three years, but then grow faster than the economy for the next seven years and beyond. Spending rises by $3.1 trillion from 2009-19, including $911 billion for legislation signed during his first two months in office, including the stimulus bill and the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (and not including interest on the mushrooming debt). Mr. Obama is violating every tenet of his promise “to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day.”
Americans are also worried about Mr. Obama’s plans for $1.9 trillion more in taxes. These tax hikes won’t just affect the “rich,” as he claims. His cap-and-trade carbon tax will hit everyone who consumes energy — that is, every American. Taxes on the top 5% of filers will result in lost jobs and wages for small businesses and less charitable giving. The administration claims higher taxes are required for deficit reduction. But its spending increases are half again as large as its tax hikes.
Nothing has deterred the administration from pursuing its staggeringly expensive agenda. Mr. Obama brushed off any concerns Tuesday night. He is quite openly using the economic crisis to launch a massive, permanent expansion of government financed by ever-more borrowing and ever-higher taxes. This may mean that his goal is to cause taxes to rise to European levels, transforming America into a European-style social democracy.
The dynamic he has set in motion could spur the emergence of strong competitors to Mr. Obama in 2012 who take a strong, principled stand against record-setting deficits, debt and taxes. It may also strengthen Republican chances in next year’s midterm elections.
Democrats should, for example, be troubled by a new National Public Radio poll showing Republicans tied or ahead in generic matchups for Congress. And while the midterms are 20 months off, Republican gubernatorial hopefuls in Virginia (Attorney General Bob McDonnell) and New Jersey (former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie) are ahead in two states Barack Obama carried last year that vote this fall.
Tuesday night’s news conference showed a fluid, self-assured president — but one who seems to think that repeating a false argument will make it true. The man who promised to end “finger-pointing” has developed the habit of blaming everyone who came before him. Invoking the language of fiscal responsibility, he is engineering prosperity-killing deficits and bankrupting spending. Mr. Obama has put front and center a set of issues — spending and taxation — that brought Republicans to power in the past and may bring them back again. It looks as if we may be heading back to the future.
Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.