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Calvin Freiburger

Barack Obama the Tax Cutter? Don’t Make Me Laugh

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Posted on September 20 2010 6:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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Poor E.J. Dionne just can’t figure out why Barack Obama isn’t getting the recognition he deserves as a tax-cutter. Yes, you heard that right; after you’re done cleaning the coffee you just spit out off of your keyboard, take a look at his latest column in the Washington Post, in which he laments the fact that everybody’s talking about George W. Bush’s tax cuts for “the rich,” but nobody’s talking about Obama’s “progressive tax cuts”:

[T]he entire debate revolves around what to do about the cuts enacted under George W. Bush. Almost no one is talking about extending the progressive tax cuts that were included in President Obama’s stimulus program. Nor are we discussing the impending death of a pro-work public assistance program that, for a rather modest sum, has helped provide jobs to 250,000 low-income Americans.


At least on the Bush tax cuts, Obama has drawn a clear and sensible line. He’s said that Congress should extend the reductions for the middle class but not those for families earning more than $250,000 a year.

Well for starters, Dionne and friends are playing fast and loose with the very meaning of the phrase “tax reduction.” As Ned Barnett explained back in 2008, candidate Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making under $250,000 was undermined from the start by no less than four proposed tax increases that would hit those very Americans (letting the Bush tax cuts expire, lifting the payroll tax cap, raising capital gains taxes, and raising taxes on businesses). Since taking office, Obama has also raised smoking taxes, enacted a staggeringly expensive health care plan, supported (if not enacted) a staggeringly expensive cap and trade plan, and, according to ABC’s Jake Tapper, has proposed a grand total of nearly 1 trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade. On September 8, Michael Eden explained the Democrat bait-and-switch:

What Democrats are doing – deceitful liars that they are – is giving Americans “tax credits” and calling them “tax cuts.”

A tax cut is a reduction in the percentage or amount of taxes that is being imposed on a citizen.  The government is cutting the amount it had been collecting from taxpayers.  A government cannot “cut” a citizen’s taxes unless that citizen had been paying taxes in the first place.

A tax credit is when you give someone money that has been collected from another taxpayer.  It is redistribution of wealth.  It is what Karl Marx described as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  Do you notice that “to” in the middle?  It means, “transferring the wealth from one government-penalized group of people TO another government-privileged group of people.”  It is what Obama described as “spreading the wealth around.”

Y’know what, lefties? Go for it. Campaign on Obama’s record as a tax cutter. Let me know how that works out.

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