America: Joe Biden is lying to you. He’s reportedly set to announce he wants another four years in the Oval Office, but meanwhile he’s refusing to do his job.
Notwithstanding high inflation brought on by excess spending, he won’t even meet with Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, who is proposing to cut outlays in return for raising the debt ceiling. Biden prefers to spin fables about the GOP and divide our country by demonizing job creators.
Republicans in the House are not crazy; their plans to rein in spending are not “wacko” as Biden has called them. They are common sense measures such as families might embrace after a holiday spending spree leaves them with too much credit card debt. They won’t fix the problem by going shopping; instead, they need to figure out where they can save a few bucks.
Speaker McCarthy and his GOP colleagues are trying to do just that – save a few (trillion) bucks. Their program includes practical ideas like taking back $50-$70 billion of the trillions of dollars allocated by Congress during the COVID emergency that were never spent.
Now that the crisis has passed, we don’t need to further fund vaccine distribution or help aircraft makers keep employees, both of which were in those monster relief bills.
HOUSE LEADERS ‘CONFIDENT’ DEBT CEILING BILL WILL PASS DESPITE SOME GOP HESITANCE
The Republican House plan also includes sensible approaches like asking able-bodied people on welfare who do not have children to either work 20 hours per week or enter a job-training program that might lead them to be self-sufficient. Generally, those kinds of rules, which Democrats used to support, get people off welfare and are popular.
But not with Biden. The president wants the country to believe that any effort to corral our ballooning national debt, now at 121% of GDP, up from 60% of GDP in 2000, represents “MAGA” extremism. The president and his Democrat friends have landed on what they think is great messaging – somehow equating fiscal prudence of the sort once displayed even by Biden himself with everything they hate about Donald Trump.
Instead of trying to reduce all-time high spending, Biden and his Democrat colleagues passed giant spending bills like the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act last year and are still pushing a controversial $400 billion plan to forgive student loans.
The result of so much spending (vote-buying) has been inflation surging to a 40-year high and massive interest rate hikes as the Federal Reserve tries to contain price increases. Biden’s budget-busters work against the Fed’s efforts, prolonging the need for monetary tightening and now likely driving the country into a recession.
JEAN-PIERRE GETS DEFENSIVE ON BIDEN DEBT CEILING STRATEGY, SHIFTS BLAME TO MCCARTHY
Even so, Biden has refused to negotiate with McCarthy. For some time, he demanded Republicans lay out their budget, speculating they couldn’t come up with one. The liberal media piled on, sure House Republicans, who struggled mightily to elect McCarthy their speaker, would not be able to agree on a proposal. This week they will likely defy expectations and pass the debt ceiling plan.
Instead of hammering out a deal, Biden wants to hammer the GOP, suggesting they only care about the rich. Our class warrior president wants Americans to believe that we can spend any amount we want and that if only the wealthy would pay their fair share, our country’s budget problems would be solved.
In a recent campaign-style speech to yet another Big Labor group, he claimed “We have a thousand billionaires in America. You know the average tax rate they pay? Eight — E-I-G-H percent — 8%.” His message was a little garbled by his inability to spell a word that wouldn’t stump a second-grader, but you get the point.
The bigger issue is: it isn’t true. None of it.
Our country has one of the most progressive tax systems in the developed world. Rates rise steeply with income, so that our top earners pay a substantially bigger portion of their income in taxes that do people in the middle, or at lower rungs of the income ladder.
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Biden has made the 8% claim on a number of occasions; each time fact-checkers dutifully call him out on it. According to Politifact, “IRS data from 2019 shows that the top 1% of taxpayers paid an average federal income tax rate of 25.6%.” As the Tax Foundation points out, that rate is “more than eight times higher than the 3.1 percent average rate paid by the bottom half of taxpayers.”
Biden’s 8% figure is pure bunk and stems from a hypothetical calculation made up by his very own Council of Economic Advisors; it includes gains on stocks and bonds that are not sold in the course of a year and are therefore not taxable. Democrats would like to tax those gains (and everything else under the sun) but in most developed countries, including here in the U.S., that does not happen.
In fact, the top 1 percent also paid 42.3% of all federal income taxes in 2020, despite only receiving 22.2 percent of total adjusted gross income. Call me crazy, but that seems an extremely fair share.
The truth is this: we do not have a taxing or revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Spending in fiscal 2022 amounted to 25% of GDP, way above the historical average of about 20%. Meanwhile, tax receipts in fiscal 2022 amounted to 18.7% of GDP, more than the long-term average of 17.1%.
So, compared to historical norms, we are spending more and also taxing more. In 2020-2022 we experienced a once-in-a-generation calamity when COVID caused the deaths of millions, and drove the government to shut down our economy to limit the contagion. Government spending went through the roof in an effort to keep businesses alive and Americans employed.
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But now the emergency is passed. Congress – and Joe Biden — must get spending under control.
Mr. President: do your job. Maybe then you’ll deserve another four years.