With pollsters predicting catastrophic losses for his party, President Obama has resorted to unsavory tactics on the campaign trail. Race-based appeals, demonization of the Chamber of Commerce and fabricating details about the budget “cuts” Republicans are planning have all been part of his playbook. But nothing has been so constant as President Obama's derisive metaphor about the car – you know the one: Republicans drove the car into the ditch and Democrats are trying to get it out as Republicans drink a slurpee and laugh. Put the car in “D”, the President commands voters, not in “R.”
Perhaps the metaphor was cute in its first hundred iterations, but there’s reason to suspect it’s losing its power. That’s because this election isn’t about letters – “R,” “D” or any others. It’s about the numbers. And what they say about President Obama and the Democrats isn’t pretty. Here are a few of the eye-poppers:
9.6%: That’s the latest unemployment figure from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the African-American community, the number is 16.1% -- and for teens, it’s 26%. Given these figures, perhaps it’s understandable that many in President Obama’s base aren’t terribly enthusiastic about turning out to vote this year. Note that in 2004, when state senator Barack Obama mocked George W. Bush’s “jobless recovery,” unemployment was 5.8%.
$13 trillion: Our enormous national debt totals a whopping $44,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
$1.3 trillion / 9.9%: The deficit for the fiscal year ending last month was $1.3 trillion dollars, representing around 9.9% of GDP. Although the deficit ran $122 billion less than the record-breaking shortfall of the year before, don’t break out the champagne – the Obama administration projects that the deficit will climb to $1.4 trillion during FY 2011. What’s more, the FY 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion was the first time the deficit ever exceeded $1 trillion – and the first time since World War II that it exceeded 10% of GDP.
$3.52 billion: This represents the net tax hikes on Americans enacted over the last two years. Americans for Tax Reform offset the tax cuts in the S-Chip program, the “stimulus,” ObamaCare, and small business legislation from the tax hikes contained in the same programs. The net outcome – the $3.52 billion increase – is why Democrats’ claims to have voted for tax cuts are disingenuous in the extreme.
75: The number of days until recession-weary Americans – all of us – are whacked by the largest tax increase in history. Those now in the 10% bracket will pay 15%, while the 25% bracket rises to 28%, the 28% bracket rises to 31%, the 33% bracket rises to 36%, and the 35% bracket goes up to 39.6%. Rates will also rise on savers and investors; capital gains will rise from 15% this year to 20% in 2011, while the dividend tax will rise from 15% this year to 39.6% in 2011. Also, Americans with children can bid a fond farewell to the dependent care tax credit – it’s being cut – and the child tax credit is being halved.
52: The number of golf days President Obama has taken since his inauguration, according to Mark Knoller, the CBS White House Correspondent. That’s more than twice as many rounds as George W. Bush played in eight years (24).
The numbers are frightening. And they are infuriating. After spending money faster than taxpayers can send it to them, Democrats have nothing to show for their efforts but higher unemployment, higher taxes and more debt. And still they’re raising taxes to take yet more of our money.
Over the next two weeks, talk to your friends and neighbors about voting for real change – for Americans’ best chance to reverse course and return to policies of smaller government, fiscal restraint, and individual freedom. And turn President Obama’s car metaphor on its head: “D” stands for “disaster” – vote “R” for recovery.