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Obama Spend-o-rama rejected

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2008

Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard, a generally low-profile, unassuming politician, engaged in a marvelous bit of political theater this week. He had his staff start analyzing the 188 spending proposals that Sen. Barack Obama has so far outlined to enact his grandiose agenda. They only got through the first 111, but Allard combined the funding for those and introduced it into the budget debate as Amendment 4246 (PDF).

The 5-year cost of just 60% of Obama's agenda? $1.4 trillion. $300 billion in the first year alone, more than 60% larger than any one-year budget increase ever. How do we pay for such a spend-o-rama? Obama claimed he'd pay for his agenda by letting the Bush tax cuts expire (i.e., everyone's taxes go up) and by raising taxes on "the rich." But the math doesn't add up, as Ross Kaminsky pointed out (emphasis added):

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who spoke immediately after Allard, re-emphasized the point: One year of Obama’s proposed spending increase “is bigger than the 5-year increase (in federal income tax collections) that President Clinton imposed on the American taxpayer.”

Burr argued that Obama’s promise to raise taxes just on the Democrats’ “attractive target” of people earning over $250,000, will only generate $225 billion over 5 years, far short of the $1.4 trillion which Obama’s proposed programs (actually only 60% of them) would saddle taxpayers with during that same time frame.

If Obama wanted to raise taxes on only the top 1% (earning over $365,000) to fund his plans, those citizens’ tax bills would have to rise by over $40,000 annually, an increase of 57%. Given the impossibility of that scenario, even under complete Democratic control of government, the tax hikes would have to trickle down to the American middle class.

“So if Congress decides to widen the pool of taxpayers footing the bill, it would have to raise taxes on the top 5% by 38%; or the top 10% by 32%; or the top 25% by 26%; or the top 50% of taxpayers by 23%. The top 50% of American taxpayers, who already pay 96.9% of all federal income taxes, are those who earn $31,000 (AGI) or more.

Obama claims to want to “balance the budget and stop spending the Social Security Surplus.” Combining that laudable goal with Obama’s massive new spending would cause the tax bills of the average taxpayer earning $62,000 to rise $5,300, or 61%. For taxpayers earning $104,000, the increase would be over $12,000, or 74%, and for the top 1%, earning over $365,000, “their income tax bill rise by an astounding $93,500 (132%)!

And remember, that's only to pay for 60% of the Obama agenda announced so far. There's another 40% yet to be analyzed and added to the bill. And it's nearly eight months until the election, so there's plenty of time for more pandering and promises and additional spending proposals.

Allard's "Obama Spend-o-rama" amendment was rejected 97-0 Thursday. But Allard had made his point: the far-far-left agenda of Barack Obama and the massive, unprecedented tax and spending increases they'd require are either unserious, cynical posturing and pandering … or totally insane.

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