Patterico's Pontifications


Two Good Pieces from IBD

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

The first comes courtesy of SPQR and Instapundit, and is titled White House Data Debunk Myth Bush Cuts Built Deficit:

While President Obama insists the Bush tax cuts caused the recession and record deficits, his own economists say otherwise.

He might want to consult their data for the truth.

. . . .

[Obama’s] assumptions are faulty, based largely on political demagoguery rather than hard numbers — including ones certified by Obama’s own fiscal policy advisers and bean counters in the White House.

Turn to Pages 411-413 of his 2012 Economic Report of the President, published by the Council of Economic Advisers. They show that “the math,” as Obama is wont to say, in fact does add up for tax cuts.

The piece is accompanied by a nice infographic based on numbers coming from the President’s economic advisers:

The infographic’s headline is not rock solid, because correlation does not equal causation. Maybe the economy would have recovered without the tax cuts. Maybe allowing people to keep more of their money did nothing for the economy! I doubt it, but it’s possible. And if so, then we did lose revenue.

But, the assumption underlying Obama’s political argument, that revenue fell due to the tax cuts, is simply incorrect. Revenue increased after the the tax cuts went into effect, and the budget gap narrowed.

Something to keep in mind as we prepare to chuck these tax cuts.

The second piece is by Andrew Malcolm, and it’s an update on all the wonderful ways that the Obamas are spending your money this Christmas:

Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent’s thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.

Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that’s a whole grove of Christmas trees.

“We have 54 trees in the White House,” an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. “54! That’s a lot of trees.”

In fact, the Obamas’ 54 trees this year are almost 50% more Christmas trees than last year. That was during the campaign before Obama whispered a reminder to the Russians that he had to be careful until Nov. 6, when a victory would give him more “flexibility.”

No wonder Obama talked over the weekend about addressing tax increases before any of that annoying business about cutting spending to address this thing called the national debt, now having soared past $16.3 trillion.

Tree purchases aren’t the only thing going up. The Obamas are also doing their part to stimulate the economy (at least the Hawaiian economy) with a longer vacation this year:

The irony is this year the main residents of the White House won’t be there for most of the holiday period and for both major holidays.

According to notices distributed to residents of an exclusive waterfront neighborhood in Hawaii, they can expect to enjoy restricted access and other inconveniences to their homes and normal lives from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6. That’s about a 50% longer holiday vacation than last year.

The inconveniences stem from security requirements for the vacationing Obamas and a large number of their accompanying friends. Obama’s staff will have to put up with rooms in a nearby luxury hotel.

The Coast Guard will be patrolling surrounding canals. Navy SEALs will be doing whatever SEALs do on security detail. The Secret Service and local police will man numerous area roadblocks and perhaps even some bushes.

The estimated costs to taxpayers of this latest vacation foray is in excess of $4 million. The largest single expense is Obama’s 747 jet, Air Force One, which runs about $182,000 per flight hour. It’s a nine-hour journey, each way, between Washington and Honolulu. That’s about $1,638,000 one-way. Their bags fly free.

Ain’t royalty grand?

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