Ed Driscoll

Obama: the Defender of the Status Quo

“The point cannot be made often enough: Modern liberalism, as embodied in the Obama presidency, is the defender of the status quo. And the status quo is a road to economic ruin,” Peter Wehner writes at the Weekly Standard:

Republicans need to unmask the philosophy guiding modern liberalism when it comes to taxes. What liberals are interested in isn’t growth so much as egalitarianism and redistribution for its own sake. For many on the left, increasing taxes isn’t about economics as much as morality. They believe taxing the wealthy is a virtue, to the point that they would penalize “the rich” even if that has harmful economic consequences. Recall that during a campaign debate, when asked by Charles Gibson about his support for raising capital gains taxes even if that caused a net revenue loss to the Treasury, Obama sided with tax increases “for purposes of fairness.”

Higher taxes would keep our current welfare state in place for only a little while longer. The entitlement apparatus would remain unsustainable. Tax increases might slightly delay, but could not forestall, a fiscal crack-up. The only thing that can is reconfiguring and restructuring our entitlement programs, most especially Medicare. That is what Paul Ryan’s plan does—and what President Obama’s budget avoids doing.

The point cannot be made often enough: Modern liberalism, as embodied in the Obama presidency, is the defender of the status quo. And the status quo is a road to economic ruin.

It is important for Republicans to put this debate in the right frame. Left unaddressed, our crushing burden of debt will cripple the American economy. Yet the aim of conservatism isn’t simply lower deficits and debt. It’s also limited government and a thriving society. A leviathan state is injurious because of its effect on civic character, because it undermines self-reliance and creates dependency. And this, in turn, results in an enervation of the entrepreneurial spirit that is necessary for innovation and prosperity.

Speaking of framing the argument, Ace is spot on here:

Via Hot Air, Pethokoukis looks beyond Obama’s dishonest words to the hard numbers.

He claimed his plan was 3:1 in favor of spending cuts to tax increases; in fact it’s closer to 2:3 in favor of tax hikes.

As I keep saying, this is not how you get him though. Oh, this helps. The dishonesty — because it shows he’s not about hope and change but deceit and socialism.

But the American public continues to think (as they think that foreign aid is a major spending requirement) that “raising taxes” just means raising taxes by 5% or 10% on the truly rich, and then everything will be just dandy.

Now, the public has a reluctance to do that, because they understand that higher tax rates tend to lead to a worse economy and are somewhat unfair in penalizing success, but if the options are between a tax hike on the rich, which they are reluctant to agree to, and reforms to elder welfare, which they are exceedingly reluctant to agree to, they’ll choose the former, ten out of ten times.

They won’t do so gladly but they will do it.

Which is why the drumbeat has to be sounded that only tax hikes on the middle class is a plausible way to raise the excessive size of the government Barack Obama is determined to have.

That they will not agree to.

Republicans must, must, must accept, for hypothetical purposes, the existence of Obama’s proposed tax hikes, and show they are not nearly enough to balance the books, and ask, over and over, “And then what?”

Read the whole thing.

(H/T: OJ)