The Magazine

Dissembler in Chief

Jul 25, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 42 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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As for Obama’s “balanced approach,” according to White House figures, the highest percentage of the gross domestic product that Americans have ever paid in taxes is 20.9 percent, at the height of World War II. Obama’s budget calls for spending an average of 24 percent over ten years—a tally that, pre-Obama, we last hit during that same war. So Obama’s idea of a “balanced approach” involves spending at the highest rate since World War II and taxing at the highest rate in American history. Meanwhile, Obama wants a debt ceiling increase of at least $2.4 trillion, the staggering amount of money that we’d need to borrow to get us through his reelection bid. 

In light of all this, it’s no wonder that House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan received a standing ovation from his fellow Republicans last month at the White House when he told Obama, “Mr. President, the demagoguery only stops if the leaders stop it,” adding, “Leadership should come from the top.” Ryan’s words tapped into an increasing feeling of frustration among the American people—the frustration that comes when the president of the United States speaks to them as “folks” prone to being spooked rather than as responsible citizens of a democratic—if increasingly insolvent—republic.

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