Taxes & Spending

Obama’s Biggest Lies

President Obama loves to make up things that are patently untrue, like every economist agrees his $800 billion economic stimulus “has done its job,” the economy “is moving in the right direction,” and the Bush tax cuts caused the trillion dollar deficits.

The facts say otherwise, but he is never challenged by the news media for his repeatedly dishonest myth-making. Here are some of his worst offenses.

Myth 1: President George W. Bush’s 2001-2003 across-the-board income tax cuts are responsible for the higher deficits and $13 trillion national debt we have today.

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office, using static analysis that does not account for growth incentives, says the Bush tax cuts were responsible for only 14% of the deficits. A dynamic analysis factoring higher economic growth would have shown that the tax cuts account for even less than that, says the Heritage Foundation’s chief budget analyst Brian Riedl.

Myth 2: Bush’s tax cuts and spending policies are to blame for the unbroken line of trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits we have under the Obama Administration.

Fact: “Bush should not get the blame for [Obama’s] trillion dollar deficits. After all, the year before the recession hit [in 2007], the deficit was only $161 billion,” Riedl told HUMAN EVENTS.

“Today’s massive deficits are the result of the recession, as well as the stimulus and other failed attempts to spend our way out of the recession,” Riedl said.

Besides, if the Bush tax cuts are so bad, why does Obama want to keep 98% of them?

                                             Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel

Myth 3: Obama says “every economist who’s looked at it says that the Recovery Act has done its job” and turned the economy around.

Fact: “That’s nonsense. Opinions differ widely and many leading economists believe that its impact has been small,” says Stanford economist Michael J. Boskin. Before the recession, the economy was growing at a 3% clip in 2007, created 1.33 million jobs and unemployment was just 4.6%.

In 2009, Obama and his economic advisers predicted his stimulus spending scheme would keep the nation’s rising unemployment rate below 8%. But the jobless rate has climbed to nearly 10% this year, nearly 100,000 jobs were lost last month and economic growth was a feeble 1.6 % in the second quarter.

Myth 4: Obama keeps repeating that if the Bush tax cuts for the two highest-income brackets, due to expire at the end of December, are extended, they will enrich billionaires and millionaires.

Fact: That’s pure demagoguery. According to Forbes magazine, there were only 469 billionaires in the U.S. and 2.2 million whose net worth was at least $1 million (this includes home values). But the higher taxes will fall on millions more small business employers who earn over $200,000 and who provide most of the jobs in our country.

Myth 5: Obama repeatedly claims that letting the top tax rates climb back to pre-Bush tax levels (up to nearly 40%) will not hurt the economy.

Fact: His own economic advisers have publically disagreed with him. Christine Romer, his recently departed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in the most recent issue of the American Economic Review that “tax increases are highly contractionary.”

Former White House budget director Peter Orszag, a member of Obama’s team of economic advisers, wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times last month, urging him to keep the tax rates where they are until the economy recovers. Raising taxes would severely hurt job creation, Orszag said.

Myth 6: Obama and the Democrats attacked the GOP’s midterm election agenda Pledge to America as “nothing new,” charging that it would return the country to the Bush Administration policies. “It’s the same stuff they’ve been peddling for years,” Obama said last week at a Chicago fundraiser.

Fact: But there are new ideas in the Pledge, including letting small businesses deduct up to 20% of their business income. That would help struggling enterprises expand and keep their employees on payroll. Obama, if he gets his way, will raise their tax rates, which will either put many of them out of business or put their employees in the unemployment line.

The Pledge also contains a number of old ideas that haven’t been tried, such as repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a scaled-down plan to slow the growth in healthcare costs, expand access to lower-cost healthcare plans and roll back non-security, discretionary spending to 2008 levels—cutting $1 trillion from the national debt.

Myth 7: Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous myth has been his oft-repeated charge that Bush’s policies were responsible for the subprime mortgage collapse and the subsequent recession.

Fact: It was two powerful Democratic committee chairmen, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who pushed government mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae hard for these subprime loans that have cost taxpayers billions.

“A President’s most valuable asset—with voters, Congress, allies and enemies—is credibility,” writes Boskin. “So it is unfortunate when extreme exaggeration emanates from the White House.”

But if you expect Obama to change his deviously dishonest ways anytime soon, don’t hold your breath. He believes in getting even.

In recent remarks about his religious values, he meant to say he believes in the biblical teaching, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

But what came out was “treating others as they would treat me.”

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