Imagine that last fall before being elected, Barack Obama had outlined the positions he has embraced since being inaugurated as president. An honest campaign speech could have gone something like this —
”As we approach Election Day, the American people should not waste the crisis we find ourselves in.
Victor Davis Hanson
The Washington Times
Sunday, March 15, 2009
“Consequently, if elected, I promise to get us over the Bush financial meltdown with a stimulus program that will borrow $787 billion – which, of course, will add to the already sizable budget deficit (nearly $500 billion) projected in the Bush administration’s last budget.
“By March of next year, my new $3.6 trillion budget will include a spending bill with more than 8,500 budget earmarks to target in-need constituents.
“In addition to the stimulus/borrowing plan, I intend to devote $634 billion to fund a new supplementary national health-care system. But that is not all. Unfortunately, the initial Bush bank bailout of some $700 billion also may well have to be augmented by an additional $750 billion.
“Although my new spending proposals may raise the federal deficit in my first year to $1.75 trillion, I promise the American people that by the end of my first term, I will halve the federal deficit – albeit adding another $3 trillion to $5 trillion to the national debt.
”Those savings can be accomplished by upping the federal income tax to about 40 percent on those rich 5 percent of Americans who currently pay only 60 percent of our aggregate income taxes – as well as lifting Social Security caps on their payroll taxes and cutting out many of their tax deductions.
”With state income taxes, federal income tax, Social Security and payroll taxes, along with new cutbacks in deductions, some of these rich will pay over 60 percent of their incomes in taxes. That is not an unreasonable rate in comparison with past levels – or the fact that well over 40 percent of Americans do not make enough to pay any federal income taxes.
“I expect that Wall Street may react negatively to these proposals. We may see the Dow fall an additional 2,000 to 3,000 points after I’m elected. It may descend to under 7,000 during my first weeks of office. And this may be the moment when the economy continues to cool and unemployment rises.