Obama Puts His Foot Down
Today, President Barack Obama stamped his foot and threatened Congress in no uncertain terms that he'd take his signing pen and stalk off in a huff if his efforts to usurp the legislative function were not approved -- and damn quickly, at that.
Demanding that the House and Senate "pass this bill," although there isn't actually any bill as such, the President made it clear that he wouldn't consent to cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits without an accompanying significant tax hike -- although nobody is proposing cutting back Medicare or Social Security benefits, merely restructuring the programs in future years to ensure fiscal viability when those now 55 or under reach eligibility age.
In addition, Obama proposed sweeping new "success penalty" tax laws, which he jokingly referred to as "the Buffett rule," designed to penalize those who become successful enough in a free-market economy to amass substantial amounts of capital and discourage them from liquidating any of their gains to reinvest in new enterprises and job-creating expansions.
Obama's nickname for this ideology is taken from the name of his good friend, multibillionaire Warren Buffett, also known as the "sage of Omaha," whose companies have been refusing to pay millions in taxes the IRS says they owe, while maintaining that folks like him, who take little of their income in ordinary salaries, aren't being penalized sufficiently on their success in accumulating wealth by other means.
Some conservative (read sensible) economists have noted that such measures, originally affecting a very small portion of the citizenry, à la the original income tax, eventually prove to yield insufficient revenue to satisfy the ever-growing demands of the ruling bureaucracies and, just as inevitably, broaden to the vast middle classes, where most of the nation's wealth is really earned.
Some pundits, understanding full well that the Republican-controlled House, along with many Democrats in both houses who fear for the re-election chances, will never enact either the straw-man "cuts" to Medicare and Social Security benefits or the sweeping tax hikes. They conclude that these propositions are merely a campaign tactic in which Obama hopes to stir up populist class-warfare sentiment by making impossible-to-pass propositions in order to cast Congress, as Harry Truman used to do, as a "do-nothing" group.
Of course, the less Congress does, the better off the country is; so many are hoping that Obama's proposals will be found so extreme and obnoxious that nothing actually will come of them until the socialist ideology he propounds can be soundly defeated by a sweep of common sense and pro-growth fiscal policies that might be hoped for by a resounding GOP electoral win in 2012.