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President Obama signed the SCHIP expansion into law yesterday amid great Democratic fanfare. As Democrats like to do, Obama pointed out a family that would benefit by his wonderful legislation (this time it was the Secrest family). Unmentioned, of course, were the hundreds of thousands of families to be hurt by the tax increase which pays for the SCHIP expansion. I've written before about how Obama is paying for SCHIP with a 61 cent tax on cigarettes, which studies show falls mainly on the poor, who smoke at much higher rates than more wealthy people do. I don't want to rehash all that again, but Obama made some comments during yesterday's SCHIP victory speech that I can't let pass:
But, as I think everybody here will agree, this is only the first step. Because the way I see it, providing coverage to 11 million children through CHIP is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American...We'll have made the single largest investment in prevention and wellness in history, attacking problems like smoking and obesity, and helping people live longer, healthier lives.
I've heard politicians make stupid statements before, lots of them, but I want to nominate this one for the stupidity hall of fame. In the same speech that Obama is celebrating an SCHIP expansion funded by cigarette smokers, he says he wants to eliminate the problem of smoking.....which would eliminate the funding for his SCHIP expansion. Duh. In fact, SCHIP funding depends on the creation of 24 million NEW smokers.
Obama seamlessly morphed his "for the children" plea into a reason we should fork over $1 trillion+ for his pork-filled stimulus bill. He's promoting the dubious proposition that we can "help" our children by deficit spending ourselves into oblivion, which will saddle our children with mountains of debt and certainly lower their future living standards. This is precisely what Ronald Reagan warned about when he said the scariest words in the english language were, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
Our post-partisan president also took a shot at Republicans who oppose The One's spend-a-palooza:
Now, let me say this. In the past few days, I've heard criticisms of this plan that, frankly, echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis in the first place, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can address this enormous crisis with half-steps, and piecemeal measures, and tinkering around the edges, that we can ignore fundamental challenges like the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.
Yeah, those rotten tax-cutting Republicans. How can those GOP wingnuts possibly think that giving people more of their own money back through tax cuts will help them...to....have.....more....money ? That's just crazy talk. Divisive. As for those "same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis in the first place," why does Obama think it was 10% tax cuts that did it ? Why doesn't Obama recognize the 50% increase in GOVERNMENT SPENDING during the Bush years as a contributing factor ??? How about the fact that government spending has doubled in the last decade ? Why doesn't Obama recognize that failed policy ? It couldn't be because Obama wants to DOUBLE OR TRIPLE that spending increase, could it ? What a bunch of malarkey our president is trying to push on us. He's trying to pass the largest government spending bill in history off as a "stimulus package", and then condemns the GOP for wanting to restrict the bill to things that actually might have a chance to stimulate the economy. I'm also pretty sure the GOP isn't strenuously objecting to the infrastructure projects either. Mr. Post-partisan forgot to mention that too.
Finally, the president pushed his electoral mandate:
"I reject these [GOP] theories. And, by the way, so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change."
Now, I don't want to be a stickler or anything, and as mesmerized as I am by that word 'change,' I don't recall Obama campaining on the idea that he was going to pass a $1 trillion spending bill right after he was elected, do you ??? I don't remember him saying he was going to raise the cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack either. Such things might have influenced the outcome of the election. If only Obama had been more "transparent" about the policies he intended to pursue. What I remember Obama saying is "tax cuts for 95% of Americans" over and over, just like those failed Republicans are doing. What I remember is Obama saying he'd make health care more affordable. Now, objecting to his tax increases and massive spending increases is a "failed theory." No, Mr. President, what you are promoting is the failed theory, the one that says we can continue to live beyond our means. It's the same big government theory we've been operating on all along, except now you want to put it on even more powerful steroids, to make it a super-failed theory. No thank you.
And the polls are showing Americans don't want the stimulus bill passed in it's current pork-packed form. By all means, Mr. President, listen to the people.
President Obama said the SCHIP expansion was "only the first step."
That's precisely what I'm afraid of.
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