URLs du Jour


  • Of course, just when the Democrats are poised to drive the economy off a fiscal cliff, you can always count on Republicans to totally botch their response, with easily-lampooned vagueness.

  • Captain Ed at Hot Air has a New Hampshire story involving two good guys I actually know, Pat Hynes and Doug Lambert of Granite Grok. They're being pilloried for "negative" (translation: "accurate") stories about the Democrat in the race for a state senate seat.

  • They didn't call it the Enlightenment for nothing, y'know. Instead of turning your lights out tonight, celebrate Human Achievement Hour.

  • If you do plan to turn off your lights, beware of doing anything else that might tarnish your environmental halo:
    "When asked to extinguish electricity, people turn to candlelight," [Bjorn] Lomborg wrote in an op-ed in The Australian. "Candles seem natural, but are almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light globes, and more than 300 times less efficient than fluorescent lights. If you use one candle for each extinguished globe, you're essentially not cutting CO2 at all, and with two candles you'll emit more CO2. Moreover, candles produce indoor air pollution 10 to 100 times the level of pollution caused by all cars, industry and electricity production."
    Do it right: just sit there in the dark. Whimpering optional.


President Obama's campaign site is still online, for now, and you can read his campaign promises on taxes here. They will either make you laugh or cry. For example:

Obama's plan will cut taxes overall, reducing revenues to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan (less than 18.2 percent of GDP). The Obama tax plan is a net tax cut - his tax relief for middle class families is larger than the revenue raised by his tax changes for families over $250,000. Coupled with his commitment to cut unnecessary spending, Obama will pay for this tax relief while bringing down the budget deficit.
Voters should have, but didn't, notice the sheer phoniness oozing from the language here: middle class families get "tax relief", while families over $250K get "tax changes".

Just about every blogger has posted this Washington Post graphic to show where we are with that "bringing down the budget deficit" promise, slightly over two months into his presidency:


Nor did that little promise to restrain federal revenues to less than 18.2% of GDP survive the first Administration budget. Here's my own graph showing actual and proposed Federal revenue as a percent of GDP (red line); the green line shows the 18.2% level. (Click for a bigger version):

[Fed Rev]

Obama's own budget numbers show revenues bouncing up to 18.7% of GDP in FY2012 and increasing after that.

(Note this graph also shows Obama's claim that an 18.2%-of-GDP level "prevailed under Ronald Reagan" is, um, also reality-challenged. FY1983-1986 revenues were well under that; the average level for FYs 1982-89 was about 18.0%.)

The Obama campaign's main selling point, though, was:

Middle class families will see their taxes cut.
… aaaand that particular feature is also in the process of being thrown under the bus:
President Obama's budget chief hinted Wednesday that the president's signature campaign issue -- a middle-class tax cut -- will not likely survive a budget battle with Democrats on Capitol Hill.

On a conference call with reporters in advance of the president's trip to the Hill to speak before the Senate Democratic caucus, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag indicated that, while 98 percent of the budget mark-ups in the House and Senate are on par with the administration's budget blueprint, some campaign trail promises, like middle-class tax cuts, may get left on the cutting room floor.

Hope you didn't spend that money already. (Via Greg Mankiw, who notes the history-repeating-itself factor.)

There's also this bit of disgusting euphemism:

Obama will ask the wealthiest 2% of families to give back a portion of the tax cuts they have received over the past eight years…
"Oh, he's just going to ask? Well, then…"

"No, he's not 'just going to ask.' Dimwit."

But also notice the sleazy underpinning assumption: "tax cuts" are something you are given by the government. They aren't about letting you hang on to more of your own money; it all belongs to the government, and government lets you keep some.

No surprise, really. That's the way these people think.

Obama was elected on sweet words, transparent lies, and now-broken promises; voters should have seen through it. Suckers!

Last Modified 2012-10-08 1:08 PM EDT