The New Lead Singer

Do you want a perfect analogy for the Barak (the Nazarine) Obama campaign?  It’s the same band playing the same tune, with a new lead singer.

Hope and Change?  Pffth! 

It’s all been done before.

One of Jimmy Carter’s campaign slogans was “A Leader, For a Change.”  Remember Bill Clinton’s first slogans: “The Man From Hope”?  Another Bill Clinton slogan was, “It’s Time to Change America.”  Also maximizing on a central theme, Bill Clinton wrote a book titled, Between Hope and History

How quaint.  Even he considered his presidency “historical”, just like Obama.

Even Walter Mondale got in on the act when his slogan loudly proclaimed, “America Needs a Change.”  Mondale, of course, went down in a defeat so humiliating, it almost made Jimmy Carter feel better.

But the slogans of The Nazarine aren’t the only things that are old; so are his policies.  Now, desperate for an incentive to get middle-class voters to vote for him (you know, the people most likely to be screwed by a Biden…er…Obama presidency), The Nazarine is claiming that 95% of Americans will get actually get a tax break.  Once again, this is nothing new.  Remember, it was Bill Clinton who stumped for the “middle-class tax break” (“and the rest of us get a break.”  Remember?)  Consequently, Jimmy Carter also ran on a platform of tax breaks in 1976. 

What does The Nazarine say he will do?  From his own website:

  • Cut taxes for 95 percent of workers and their families with a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples.
  • Provide generous tax cuts for low- and middle-income seniors, homeowners, the uninsured, and families sending a child to college or looking to save and accumulate wealth.
  • Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, cut corporate taxes for firms that invest and create jobs in the United States, and provide tax credits to reduce the cost of healthcare and to reward investments in innovation.
  • Dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing tax credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class Americans to do their own taxes in less than five minutes without an accountant.

Now contrast this with Carter’s comments on taxes from one of the presidential debates in 1976:

The present tax structure is a disgrace to this country; it’s just a welfare program for the rich. As a matter of fact, uh – 25 percent of the total tax deductions, go for only 1 percent of the richest people in this country, and over 50 percent of the tax uh credits go for the 14 percent of the richest people in this country. When Mr. Ford first became president in – in August of 1974, the first thing he did in – in October was to ask for a $4.7 billion increase in taxes on our people in the midst of the heaviest recession, since uh – since the great depression of nineteen uh – of the 1940s. In uh – January of 1975 he asked for a tax change: a $5.6 billion increase on low-and-middle-income private individuals, a six and a half billion dollar decrease on the corporations and the special interests. In uh – December of uh – 1975 he vetoed the roughly 18 to 20 billion dollar uh tax-reduction bill that had been passed by the Congress, and then he came back later on in January of this year and he did advocate a $10 billion tax reduction, but it would be offset by a $6 billion increase this coming January in deductions for Social Security payments and for unemployment compensation. The whole philosophy of the Republican party, including uh – my opponent, has been to pile on taxes on low-income people to take ’em off on the corporations. As a matter fact, in – sin- since the late sixties when Mr. Nixon took office, we’ve had a reduction in uh – in the percentage of taxes paid by corporations from 30 percent down to about 20 percent. We’ve had an increase in taxes paid by individuals, payroll taxes, from14 Percent up to 20 percent. And this is what the Republicans have done to us. And this is why a tax reform is so important.

We can do that by reducing Federal taxes as I proposed uh – about a year ago when I called for a tax reduction of $28 billion – three-quarters of it to go to private uh taxpayers and uh one-quarter to the business sector.

Another very important – uh aspect of our – uh economy would be to increase production in every way possible, uh to hold down – uh taxes on individuals, and to uh shift the tax burdens onto those who have avoided paying taxes in the past.

Now compare this to Bill Clinton’s comments and promises on taxes:

I want to make it very clear that this middle-class tax cut, in my view, is central to any attempt we’re going to make to have a short-term economic strategy.

The only people who will pay more income taxes are the wealthiest 2 percent, those living in households making over $200,000 a year.

To achieve more growth and more economic opportunity for working families, I have a balanced-budget plan with targeted tax cuts for America’s families…

Yep.  We’ve never seen anything like Obama before.  He’s a “fresh breath of air” all right…

What was the result of those prior two Democrat presidencies?  Well, you could count on a stopwatch how fast Bill Clinton threw those middle-class tax cuts overboard after he took the oath of office, and he was responsible for a HUGE tax increase in 1993.  Carter’s tax “cuts” resulted in tax increases.

But wait!  Obama will be diffrent!  (Yeah, riiiiiiight…!)

I won’t bother making comparisons on abortion.  All of the Democrat candidates from Carter to now supported it.  So, definitely nothing new there.

Balanced Budget?  Well, let’s see what Barak (The Nazarine) Obama’s advisor says about that:

Former treasury secretary Robert Rubin, who is advising Barack Obama, and former Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina, who is advising John McCain, said on Face The Nation Sunday that a balanced budget is foreseeable despite a federal deficit that has ballooned to more than $400 billion.

“We could have had surpluses during this decade,” said Rubin. “We started the decade with surpluses and we had good federal revenues. But instead, because of the fiscal policies put in place, we had deficits through all this period.

“What Senator Obama has said is that he is committed to restoring sound, long-term fiscal conditions,” Rubin continued. “I think that’s essential if we’re going to have a good and strong economy. He said he’ll pay for everything he’s going to do with respect to Social Security and Medicare.”

Rubin said “we could absolutely get back” to a balanced budget.

Now Carter:

Well, as a matter of fact there is. If we assume the ah – uh – a rate of growth of our economy, equivalent to what it was during President Johnson, President Kennedy, even before the – the – the – uh wa uh – Vietnese- namese War, and if we assume that at the end of the four-year period we can cut our unemployment rate down to 4 to 4 and a half percent – under those circumstances, even assuming no elimination of unnecessary programs and assuming an increase in the ad- in the allotment of money to finance programs, increasing as the inflation rate does – my economic projections, I think confirmed by the House uh – and the Senate committees, have been with the $60 billion extra amount of money that can be spent in fiscal year ’81 which will be the last year of this next term. Within that sixty-billion dollars increase there would be fit the programs that I promised the American people. I might say too, that – that if we see that these goals cannot be reached – and I believe they’re reasonable goals – then I would cut back on the rate of implement- implementation of new programs in order to accommodate a balanced budget by fiscal year ’81 which is the last year of the next term. I believe that we ought to have a balanced budget during normal economic circumstances. And uh – these projections have been very carefully made. I stand behind them. And if they should be in error slightly on the down side, then I’ll phase in the programs that we’ve uh – advocated, more slowly.

And now Bill Clinton:

I would present a five-year plan to balance the budget.

… we should balance the budget. … we could do it in seven years. … I do not believe it is good policy based on my understanding of this budget, which is pretty good now, to do it in seven years. … I think we can reach it in nine years. … balance the budget in 10 years. … I think we could reach it in eight years. … I have proposed a balanced budget that balances the budget in nine years. … the seven-year period is an arbitrary period. … so we’re between seven and nine now. … we could do it in seven. … Our budget has moved forward from 10 to nine years. … just a figure picked out of the air.

(Sorry about the last one, I couldn’t help myself.)

And what did we get?

An increased national debt under both the Carter and Clinton administrations, with no balanced budgets.

“But — but — but what about the Clinton budget surplus that everyone says occurred?”, you ask.  Well, it never actually happened.  Indeed, Bill Clinton came the closest to a balanced budget during his presidency, but when you include both public debt and intergovernmental holdings, the budget was off by about $17 billion.  The fact is that the national debt went UP by some $281 billion.

While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it is aggravating seeing Clinton’s record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the cold hard facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government’s fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton’s budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here’s the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:

National Debt Deficit
FY1993  09/30/1993  $4.411488 trillion  
FY1994  09/30/1994  $4.692749 trillion  $281.26 billion
FY1995  09/29/1995  $4.973982 trillion  $281.23 billion
FY1996  09/30/1996  $5.224810 trillion  $250.83 billion
FY1997  09/30/1997  $5.413146 trillion  $188.34 billion
FY1998  09/30/1998  $5.526193 trillion  $113.05 billion
FY1999  09/30/1999  $5.656270 trillion  $130.08 billion
FY2000  09/29/2000  $5.674178 trillion  $17.91 billion
FY2001  09/28/2001  $5.807463 trillion  $133.29 billion

As can clearly be seen, in no year did the national debt go down, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a budget surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit. Yes, the budget was almost balanced in FY2000 (ending in September 2000 with a deficit of “only” $17.9 billion), but it never reached zero–let alone a positive number. And Clinton’s last budget proposal for FY2001, which ended in September 2001, generated a $133.29 billion deficit. The growing deficits started in the year of the last Clinton budget, not in the first year of the Bush administration.

Clinton clearly did not achieve a surplus and he didn’t leave President Bush with a surplus.

So why do they said he had a surplus?

As is usually the case in claims such as this, it has to do with Washington doublespeak and political smoke and mirrors.

Understanding what happened requires understanding two concepts of what makes up the national debt. The national debt is made up of public debt and intergovernmental holdings. The public debt is debt held by the public, normally including things such as treasury bills, savings bonds, and other instruments the public can purchase from the government. Intergovernmental holdings, on the other hand, is when the government borrows money from itself–mostly borrowing money from social security.

Does anyone want to predict what an Obama presidency will do to the National Debt?

These are just three examples I picked off the top of my head.  There are more – many more – similarities in message and policy where The Nazarine (Barak Hussein Obama) echoes Democrats of the past.  The only change being offered is the voice that echoes hollow words from other men, and promises never kept.

The band plays the tune, and while the singer looks cool – and has a great voice – he’s still singing the same words.

Nothing new to see here.

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