Now that Federal spending has risen to a post-WW II high of about 25% of GDP, the President has changed his mind. We sort of knew it was coming. Whether the cause was bond market pressure may not matter much, but the powers that be are consolidating the statism that this blog has pointed to as an ongoing trend in the U. S. that began with the bailouts in 2008.
In 2008, candidate/Senator Obama said:
"No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase."
Now he has dumped religion and certitude for faithlessness:
President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.
Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”
The previous Democratic president swept into office in 1992 in good measure by pounding home the message that his predecessor lied when he kicked off his 1988 campaign with the famous "Read my lips: No new taxes" pledge.
Depublican or Remocrat, it hardly matters. Money and power are inextricably linked.
Washington wants them both.
As an aside, it's interesting that this president, who wrote about finding Christ in his memoirs, used the high-faluting and unpopular word "agnostic" rather than a more common term such as "open-minded". I suspect this was not pre-planned by his handlers and pollsters, but is rather the natural way of speaking for this intellectual, academically trained attorney. I also believe that this way of thinking and speaking will work against him in public opinion. When Lee Atwater made the aristocratic George Herbert Walker Bush look like a man of the people, eating pork rinds and hosting barbecues, it was hokey but effective. A president who, like me, likes an expensive variety of lettuce that most people can't afford (arugula) may be well advised to keep his image more toward the Atwater-created image of Bush the first. Polysyllabism and intellectualism are de rigeur at elite law schools, but the first rule of effective communication is: Keep It Simple.
In any case, the larger Washington gets relative to the economy, the lower the appropriate price-earnings ratio will be. The lords giveth recently, but they also taketh away.
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