Hillary, as expected won yesterday's Pennsylvania primary. As it stands now her margin of victory was ten points:
Incomplete returns from Pennsylvania showed Mrs. Clinton leading 55 percent to 45 percent, with her victory propelled by her strong performance among women, older voters and less affluent and less educated voters; among white union members with no college education, she won almost three-quarters of the vote, polling showed.
So she lives to fight another day. Hillary's determination to stay in the race has led to some interesting (and revealing) moments. Had she dropped out there would have been no debate last Wednesday. Considering Barack Obama had not been seriously challenged by the mainstream media, it is doubtful he ever would have been if not for that debate. We found out that the rock star doesn't hold up very well when he is being challenged. His response is to blame the messenger and cry foul. The candidate of "hope and change" does not believe Americans need to know the person behind the rhetoric. Judging from what we've learned so far, one can hardly blame him.
Obama cried foul on the so-called "gotcha" questions. In my opinion, those were not the most damaging to him. Looking back at the debate it was his answer(s) on the capital gains question that provided the "YouTube moment of the debate":
1) If Obama is correct and the economy (where the current jobless rate is 5.1 percent vs. recessionary peaks of 8.8 percent in 1975, 10.8 percent in 1982, 7.8 percent in 1992, and 6.3 percent in 2003) is "in a shambles" and "teetering not just on the edge of recession, but potentially worse," why would he want to nearly double the capital-gains-tax rate, which is a tax on savings, investment, and, yes, housing?
In the YouTube moment of the debate, comoderator Charlie Gibson of ABC News asked Obama twice why he wanted to raise capital-gains taxes since such a move would both 1) hit the middle class and 2) produce less government revenue. Obama who didn't seem to know that middle-class people pay capital-gains taxes, since he had just moments earlier promised not to raise taxes on people making under the $200,000-to-$250,000 range gave this answer:
Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital-gains tax for purposes of fairness....[And as to higher rates bringing in less revenue], well, that might happen or it might not. It depends on what's happening on Wall Street and how business is going.... ...And if we can stabilize that market and we can get credit flowing again, then I think we'll see stocks do well, and once again I think we can generate the revenue that we need to run this government and hopefully to pay down some of this debt.
OK, let me get this straight: Obama thinks we may be heading into a near depression, and he wants to double a tax that might or might not, as he sees it, have a negative effect on economic activity, all for the sake of "fairness." Now that is a man of principle.
Obama fared no better attempting to defend his proposal to raise the cap on payroll taxes:
2) If Obama is correct and the economy is "in a shambles" and "teetering not just on the edge of recession, but potentially worse," why would he want raise payroll taxes by 6 to 12 percentage points on people making $100,000 or more? And again, Obama said this right after pledging not to raise taxes on people making under $200,000 to $250,000. Here are Obama's exact words:
What I have proposed is that we raise the cap on the payroll tax, because right now millionaires and billionaires don't have to pay beyond $97,000 a year. That's where it's kept. Now most firefighters, most teachers, you know, they're not making over $100,000 a year. In fact, only 6 percent of the population does. And I've also said that I'd be willing to look at exempting people who are making slightly above that.
Under Obama's proposals things could get worse. Much worse.
If Obama gets in, I think it’s a catastrophe—if he puts through the policies he’s saying. [His exchange with ABC’s Charlie Gibson on taxing capital gains] was one of the most ridiculous give-and-takes I have ever seen. It was just silly beyond belief. [Obama] almost accepted it, and then he says he wants to raise taxes on capital gains, “cause it’s fair” – and not because it will help people, not because it will provide more revenues. It’s ridiculous what he said. [Obama economic advisor] Austan Goolsbee should be priming him on this stuff. It just doesn’t make any sense.-Arthur Laffer, supply-side economist & president of Laffer Associates
Someone ought to point out to Sen. Obama that of the 8.5 million tax filers who declared capital gains in 2005, 79 percent had incomes under $100,000. 79 percent! The unfortunate fact is that Wall Street won't be the only one hard hit by Obama's populism, Main Street would be hit even harder.
If it's any consolation for Obama, Hillary's tax plan is no better. While she would not raise the capital gains tax to 28% (she would consider raising it to 20%), she plans to raise income tax on people making more than $250,000. Regardless of the effect on the economy:
4) Interestingly, Hillary Clinton implied she would only raise capital-gains-tax rates to 20 percent the low point of rates during her husband's administration rather than the 28 percent that Obama mistakenly thinks was the nadir and maybe even leave them where they are. Her answer: "I wouldn't raise it above the 20 percent if I raised it at all. I would not raise it above what it was during the Clinton administration."
5) Clinton also promised to raise taxes on people making over $250,000, no matter what the economic circumstance. Here is that exchange:
SENATOR CLINTON: Well, George, I have made a commitment that I will let the taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year go back to the rates that they were paying in the 1990s.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if the economy is weak?
SENATOR CLINTON: Yes. And here's why: Number one, I do not believe that it will detrimentally affect the economy by doing that. As I recall, you know, we used that tool during the 1990s to very good effect and I think we can do so again.
And here is the problem with that approach. When Bill Clinton signed his big tax increase bill in August 1993, the economy had been expanding for nine consecutive quarters, more than two years, and was able to power through the negative economic impact of the hikes. In 2009, the United States might be just emerging from a nasty downturn only to get hit by a tax increase.
The problem with the Democrats is they don't care about the economy, except for its use for political purposes. How stupid is it for the federal government to collect more money if the economy is not doing well? How stupid is it to take more money out of the hands of consumers, employees and employers? What exactly will the federal government do with all this money? It's called the redistribution of income and it is a death-wish for our capitalist system. The same system that made possible our prosperity, that has made our country the envy of the world. Make no mistake, our two democrats do not like capitalism. At least not for the rest of us:
The big irony here is that while Obama has done extremely well for himself in our very unique free-market economy, he has the “audacity” to demonize others who have done well for themselves, and to propose economic policies that, if implemented, would radically change our nation into something more akin to a Western European socialist state.
Obama has proposed a federal crack down on what he deems “excessive pay” for corporate executives. He has proposed that the federal government begin taxing people’s capital (not just earnings or interest payments, but, yes, capital itself). He has proposed that the capital gains tax rate be raised to 28%, nearly doubling its current rate of 15%. And he has made it a constant theme of his campaign to lament “Bush’s tax cuts for the rich,” conveniently ignoring the fact that the President and the Congress lowered the taxes of ALL Americans earlier this decade.
Mrs. Clinton is fond of maligning “rich” people as well, and openly disdains the very essence of our free-market economic system. She has berated the reality of America being an “ownership society” (despite the recent increase in mortgage foreclosures, home ownership in America is still at an all-time high), saying that in reality we are an “on your own” society. Her remedy for the “problem” is for us to become a “we’re in this together society,” a nation of “shared responsibility” AND “shared prosperity.” She has elsewhere stated that, with respect to social care for the needy, “our free-market has failed” (never mind the philanthropy and charity that Americans provide over and above paying their taxes); “churches have failed;” “we’ve all failed;” and to become a just society, some people need to “have things taken away” from them.
We've all failed. Here is that quote in a little more context:
Clinton also said that “the adult society has failed” young people “who are tremendously influenced by the media culture and by the celebrity culture.”
“I think that we have failed them in our churches, our schools and our government,” she said. “And I certainly think the free market has failed. We’ve all failed.”
Our country is such a failure millions of people from all over the world are clamoring to get in. As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world. In 2006, the number of immigrants totaled 37.5 million. What a failure. To borrow from Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, capitalism isn't everything but it sure beats whatever comes in second. We've all failed. That's a perfect example of what Rush Limbaugh was talking about yesterday. The gloom and doom scenario painted over and over again by the Democrats. And silence on the matter from "our side":
Our country is such a failure millions of people from all over the world are clamoring to get in. As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world. In 2006, the number of immigrants totaled 37.5 million. What a failure. To borrow from Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, capitalism isn't everything but it sure beats whatever comes in second.
We've all failed. That's a perfect example of what Rush Limbaugh was talking about yesterday. The gloom and doom scenario painted over and over again by the Democrats. And silence on the matter from "our side":
The whole focus, for me, anyway ... "I don't hear anybody talking about American exceptionalism." Not one of our presidential candidates is talking about the greatness of this country, just the exact opposite. That's not good. If somebody could break out of the pack talking about how great this country is because of how great the people who work and live here make it, that guy could run a landslide victory. It's simple. It's right there. It's in the playbook. It's in the blueprints. We end up, on our side, so often accepting the doom-and-gloom pessimistic premises of the left, and that's why this all gets frustrating sometimes.
The most frustrating part is that so many Americans buy into the gloom and doom. Where is the pride in our country? Where is the pride in ourselves that we can accomplish great things, in our own lives, making our own decisions? Hillary was right about a couple of things. Our schools have failed and our government has failed. Who runs our schools and our government? People just like her. Politicians who want to micro-manage every aspect of our lives. Politicians who know what's best for us since we can't be trusted to make important decisions on our own:
“We just can’t trust the American people to make these types of decisions. …Government has to make these choices for people.” —Hillary Clinton circa 1993, speaking to Rep. Dennis Hastert on the issue of who should control the allocation of money in her health care reform plan
Trust. Coming from Hillary that is laughable.