Friday, February 27, 2009

how dare he honor his campaign promises!

It seems the elite press corps was in a tizzy concerning Obama’s tax plans included in his recent budget. Basically, it’s the exact plan he campaigned on.

As explains the back and forth between the press corps and Obama's Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs:
Why would Obama raise taxes on people making over $250,000 beginning in two years? If you tamper with trickle-down, the dramatic shift of income toward the wealthy that was the hallmark of George W. Bush's tax policy, don't you know it'll be disaster? It'll be "class warfare!" (The first questioner: Are you worried that the "class warfare" argument could sink the budget?)

In a remarkable scene, Gibbs patiently and repeatedly explained that, no really, Obama actually won the election, that he'd explained exactly what he was going to do during the campaign, the American people understood and voted on it, and now he's doing it. During the campaign, Obama had pledged to cut taxes for 95% of American workers and end the catastrophic non-workingness of George Bush's trickle-down tax policy. Now, among some questioners, there seems to be confusion and alarm that Obama intends to implement that policy.

(highlighting is my doing)

That is how low political action has come in this country. It is just assumed that your campaign promises are just campaign strategies (aka lies), and that if and when you win, of course you will not honor them, and in fact, do quite the opposite.

The icing on the cake is that the arguments being made against the promises to keep are, at best, deceiving, and at worst, lies.

They call it wealth redistrbution, socialism, class warfare. And they point to the fact that small businesses will bear the burden. Most of it is untrue. The plan merely returns levels to the Clinton years.

Joe Klein in Swampland puts it exactly right:
At the heart of the progressive movement, one hundred years ago, was the notion of taxation on a sliding scale, according to income--the belief that the more wealthy you are, the more you should pay as a percentage of your income. The progressive income tax was launched, via constitutional amendment, by Woodrow Wilson in 1913. It remains one of the clearest fault lines between the left and the right.

After discussing the details of Obama’s plan and an interesting Larry Summer’s story that sums up the issue with Reaganesque simplicity, Klein ends his post:
Over the coming weeks you will hear this described as a form of radicalism. It is not. It is liberalism--and more: it is purest bright line available to divide liberals from conservatives in American politics. Let the screeching begin.

Exactly. Let the real arguments about progressive tax rates be debated. But throw out the empty rhetoric that has become such an expected part of the dance between the media and politicians.

In other words, start telling the truth. The means, and only the means, matter. The ends will then take care of themselves.

~Peace to All and One,
Son Rivers


Psiplex said...

The right direction is telling the truth. It's a mighty big ship to turn around but it has to happen.

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