The Phony Campaign

2012-04-15 Update

[phony baloney]

Not much change on the leader board:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 33,000,000 700,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 1,200,000 -10,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 262,000 -768,000

  • The big phony news this week was made by Obama-buddy and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen, who snarked on-air that Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, had "never worked a day in her life." It was an unusually clumsy attempt to fire up more resentment against the rich.

    Republicans cleverly and easily framed Rosen's comments instead as displaying contempt for stay-at-home moms. And, of course, they feigned outrage! Which barely hid their glee at finally winning a battle in the gotcha! wars.

    This is what politicians do. Matt Lewis doesn't like it though. He presents seven reasons why not, and number six is right down our topical alley:

    It's phony, feigned outrage. Phoniness is, perhaps, the least admirable quality one can possess. But we've seen a lot of phoniness of late. This is silly season, after all. There is no Republican war on women. There is no Democratic war on moms. The truth is that the people pulling the strings who seem angered by this are actually feigning outrage. And the people who are truly outraged are being manipulated by them. It's truly sad. (Meanwhile, Hollywood and Madison Avenue continue to portray dads as dolts. Maybe dads are the real victims, err, heroes? Where's our lobby?)

  • Many people have commented on the worthlessness of the "Buffett Rule" (the proposal that would allegedly insure that millionaires pay at least 30% of their income in taxes). But nobody does it like Mark Steyn, who notes that at best the Rule will increase taxes $3.2 billion per year. Which is approximately one five-hundredth of the FY2011 budget deficit. [Amazon Link]
    It's that easy, folks! Like President Obama says, all you have to do to pay off his 2011 deficit is save $3.2 billion a year for 500 years.

    He thinks you're stupid. Warren Buffett thinks you're stupid. Maybe you are. But not everyone is. And America's foreign debtors understand that "the Buffett Rule" is just another pathetic sleight of hand en route to the collapse of the U.S. dollar, and of American society shortly thereafter.

    But I'm sure the proposal plays well in focus groups. Which is the only thing the President is interested in right now.

  • The WSJ notes that the actual "Buffett Rule" legislation is paired with the repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, the previous attempt to go after "the rich", now threatening to millions of not-particularly-rich. But:
    The Joint Tax Committee--the official scoring referee on tax bills--calculates that the combination of AMT repeal for the middle class and the Buffett tax would add $793.3 billion to the debt over the next decade. As Mr. Obama has said, "This isn't politics, this is math."

  • A useful dose of reality from Don Boudreaux:
    I do not recall ever, as an adult, failing to be mystified whenever I encounter another adult expressing confidence in politicians - confidence either in an individual politician (say, confidence in Ronald Reagan or in Barack Obama) or confidence in politicians as a group. Successful politicians - and particularly those who are successful on national stages - are, with exceptions too few to matter, master con artists.
    Politicians of any stripe should be judged phony until proven genuine.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:57 PM EDT