Even Bush had a "stimulus" bill that sent government checks to lots of people last year. Guess what happened? It didn't stimulate the economy. Obama's stimulus bill is the mother of all pork bills for friends of O and of Congressional Democrats. ("O" stands for Obama, not Oprah, but there's probably a lot of overlap.)
And all that government spending on the Democrats' constituents will be paid for by raising taxes on the productive.
Raise taxes and the productive will work less, adopt tax shelters, barter instead of sell, turn to an underground economy -- and the government will get less money.
The perfect bar bet with a liberal would be to wager that massive government deficits in the '80s were not caused by Reagan's tax cuts. If you casually mentioned that you thought Reagan's tax cuts brought in more revenue to the government -- which they did -- you could get odds in Hollywood and Manhattan. (This became a less attractive wager in New York this week after Gov. David Paterson announced his new plan to tax bar bets.)
The lie at the heart of liberals' mantra on taxes -- "tax increases only for the rich" -- is the ineluctable fact that unless taxes are raised across the board, the government won't get its money to fund layers and layers of useless government bureaucrats, none of whom can possibly be laid off.
How much would you have to raise taxes before any of Obama's constituents noticed? They don't pay taxes, they engage in "tax-reduction" strategies, they work for the government, or they're too rich to care. (Or they have off-shore tax shelters, like George Soros.)
California tried the Obama soak-the-productive "stimulus" plan years ago and was hailed as the perfect exemplar of Democratic governance.
In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine called California a "laboratory" for Democratic policies, noting that "California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control."
They said this, mind you, as if it were a good thing. In California, the article proclaimed, "the next new deal is in tryouts." As they say in show biz: "Thanks, we'll call you. Next!"
In just a few years, Democrats had turned California into a state -- or as it's now known, a "job-free zone" -- with a $41 billion deficit, a credit rating that was slashed to junk-bond status and a middle class now located in Arizona.
Democrats governed California the way Democrats always govern. They bought the votes of government workers with taxpayer-funded jobs, salaries and benefits -- and then turned around and accused the productive class of "greed" for wanting not to have their taxes raised through the roof.
Having run out of things to tax, now the California legislature is considering a tax on taxes. Seriously. The only way out now for California is a tax on Botox and steroids. Sure, the governor will protest, but it is the best solution ...
California was, in fact, a laboratory of Democratic policies. The rabbit died, so now Obama is trying it on a national level.
That's what the tea parties are about.