Death (Panels) and Taxes

Barack Obama has unveiled his agenda for balancing the budget: Raising taxes on the living, then sending them to an early grave. In his speech this afternoon, Obama confirmed long-running suspicions that he views extravagant expenditures as “core investments,” believes all wealth belongs to the government, questions the “patriotism” of those who believe in limited government, and plans to set to establish a “commission” to deny seniors medical treatment he deems “unnecessary.”

Debt Service Lip Service

After 20 meandering minutes of strawman-smashing and hand-wringing over Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, Obama outlined his four-step plan. He began by insisting he would “make the tough cuts” Republicans pried out of him, but he would never sacrifice “core investments”…like “broadband access” and “clean energy technology.” Such priorities allowed this president to rack up more debt in 19 months than all of his predecessors combined.

In a rare display of honesty, Obama vowed “to find additional savings in our defense budget.” National defense is the only part of the federal budget liberals show a propensity for cutting. Coincidentally, it is also one of the few constitutionally authorized functions of government. As part of the savings process, the president promised to “conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world.” However, he made no mention of ending America’s involvement in Libya’s civil war, which cost taxpayers $608 million in the first few weeks alone. If budget considerations force him to rethink America’s new role as champion of Islamic fundamentalist revolutionaries, it would be a good thing.

Unlike the mythical benefits Americans receive from intervening around the globe on behalf of fanatics who hate us, the president’s plan to restrict medical treatment to the elderly is all too real.

Death Panels Confirmed

Far more of the president’s speech revolved around the final two planks of his debt reduction plan: death (panels) and taxes.

His third step is to “further” reduce health care spending. “Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law” — that is, ObamaCare — “will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion,” he lied.  The Congressional Budget Office informed John Boehner in February that repealing ObamaCare would cut $1.04 trillion from the federal deficit over nine years. Yet Obama did offer a proposal to control costs:

[W]e will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.

Of course, Barack Obama and the members of an “independent” — presumably unelected — commission would have a radically different notion of the kind of “services seniors need.” Obama recently displayed his great bedside manner when he told the daughter of a woman considered too ill for treatment doctors may tell her mother, “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer.”

The president admitted this afternoon that Sarah Palin was right; he does want to establish “death panels.”

Tax Cuts = “Spending”?

In a perfectly Orwellian turn-of-phrase, Obama said his fourth step is to “reduce spending in the tax code.” This is Newspeak for raising taxes. In the Bizarro world of liberalism, all wealth naturally belongs to the federal government, so allowing Americans to keep their own money is “spending.”

On the contrary, higher taxes increase spending. Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder found that over the past 60 years, every $1 in new taxes increased federal spending by $1.17. New taxes are not the cure for deficit spending; they are the instigators of it. Or as P.J. O’Rourke put it, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

This new order of mammoth government will continue this until 2014, safely into his second term (Heaven forfend). If the nation has not met the targets Obama sets for reducing the deficit at that point, then the nation will “make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more” — here’s that phrase again — “spending reductions in the tax code.”

Patriots for Socialism

In all, the plan is no different than the State of the Union address, down to the lame phrase, “Winning the Future.” According to our president, this collection of unconstitutional transfer payments is not increased welfare spending. This spending is a “sense of responsibility – to each other and to our country.” It “isn’t a partisan feeling. It isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea. It’s patriotism.”

And if you don’t have this “feeling,” well then, you lack “patriotism.” This is the Left’s view of all its opponents. Thus, while accusing the opposition of “questioning their patriotism,” they brand their opponents as the human embodiment of evil. In January, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, compared those who oppose ObamaCare with the Nazis spreading the Big Lie. They claim victim status even while offending.

And Barack Obama’s vision for America is most offensive, indeed.