The Campaign Spot

Phantom Savings, Backdoor Tax Hikes

The editors of the Washington Post are dancing around the fact that President Obama’s budget is full of nonsense:

But the assumption that war spending will drop to $50 billion per year after 2010 is wildly at odds with Mr. Obama’s stated commitment to success in Afghanistan and Iraq. His self-congratulatory claim of having identified $2 trillion in “savings” relies almost entirely on the presumed lower war costs and a long-promised rollback of the Bush administration’s high-end tax cuts.

If you take future spending on “A” out of the budget, and then spend it on “B,” how on earth do you call that “savings”?

Mr. Obama proposes to pay for the additional tax credits he promised to lavish on 95 percent of Americans with revenue generated by a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions — a kind of indirect tax on oil, gas and coal. Since this will raise expenses for all Americans, marrying these two initiatives makes sense, philosophically and fiscally.

It also, of course, demonstrates that Obama’s pledge, “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime” is bunk.

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