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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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Obama’s Latest "Never Mind" - $2 Trillion Deficit Recalibration Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, August 27 2009
The White House just admitted a 29 percent “oops” just three months after its initial assurance.

Is Barack Obama capable of saying anything that Americans can trust?

That question accrued even greater prominence this week after the White House recalibrated its ten-year budget deficit projection from $7 trillion to $9 trillion.

Just three months ago, when Obama completed the official release of his proposed 2010 budget, he forecast a $7.1 trillion cumulative deficit for the years 2010 through 2019. As awful as that sum was, even it was based upon unreasonably optimistic assumptions, such as a mere 1.2 percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2009 and future GDP increases that exceeded economists’ assessments.

In other words, the White House just admitted a 29 percent “oops” just three months after its initial assurance.

This year’s $1.6 trillion deficit alone constitutes 11% of GDP, compared to roughly 3% averaged throughout the Bush Administration, and is over $1.3 trillion larger than the $240 billion dollar deficit for the 2008 fiscal year. Further, our nation’s debt will grow from 41 percent of GDP in 2008 to 68 percent in 2019.

Setting a new standard in gross understatement, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag acknowledged that the ascending deficit projection is “higher than desirable.”

Mr. Orszag is obviously learning well at the feet of Obama, who himself offered one of his most Orwellian euphemisms to date during a Colorado town hall this week. Instead of admitting that he’ll raise taxes on small businesses to pay for ObamaCare, he said, “we are going to ask you to make a contribution to help make sure those employees have health insurance.”

“Ask you to make a contribution?” Is Obama dim enough to believe that he’s sly enough to dupe his audience like that? The only people for whom federal taxes are voluntary are Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Congressman Charlie Rangel, ObamaCare guru Tom Daschle and other favored White House sycophants.

Regardless, the implications of this week’s admission of flagrant error are even more troubling for American taxpayers.

First, it raises the likelihood that Obama will break his promise to the American people not to raise income taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 under any circumstances. Asked about this possibility, Mr. Orszag sheepishly replied, “we are in the midst of putting together the 2011 budget, and we will have more to say about that later.” This follows similar suggestions from Geithner and White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers.

Second, our ten-year fiscal reality is likely even worse than Obama acknowledges. Among other problems, his projections assume at least $600 billion in incoming revenues over the next decade from his carbon cap-and-tax scheme. But the Senate is unlikely to pass that legislation, and even the narrowly-passed House bill would raise only $450 billion over ten years. The reality is that cap-and-tax legislation, if passed, would actually lower federal revenues by suffocating economic prosperity.

Moreover, the White House’s already-gloomy deficit projection assumes that federal spending will only rise at the same rate as inflation over the next decade. This is facially absurd, especially considering the fact that this year’s budget increased domestic discretionary spending by 47%, and the 2010 budget proposals increase domestic spending by 8% after inflation.

But more fundamentally, this latest episode of White House recklessness raises the question of whether Americans can trust their President about anything he says.

Dating back to when he launched his fledgling campaign, Obama earnestly pledged his devotion to public campaign financing, and stated that he would comply with its limits if he won the Democrats’ nomination. That was when he was the underdog battling the Hillary Clinton juggernaut. After defeating Clinton and hoarding record amounts in campaign contributions, of course, he jettisoned his commitment just as quickly as he did his firebrand racist preacher Jeremiah Wright.

Since that date, Americans have witnessed a veritable parade of mendacity from Obama that is too exhaustive to catalogue. From promises to contain unemployment below 8 percent if his “stimulus” bill passed, to assurances that he’d immediately close Guantanamo Bay, he simply has not established any record of truthfulness and accuracy upon which Americans can rely.

Obama now asks voters to trust his assurance that ObamaCare will remain “deficit-neutral” despite Congressional Budget Office projections that it will add hundreds of billions in debt in its first few years alone. He also asks us to believe that he will protect the country from terror even as his lawyers persecute Central Intelligence Agency staffers, and that his climate-change agenda will create jobs rather than destroy them.

In light of this week’s admission of massive error in his deficit projection, Americans are justifiably even more skeptical.


Notable Quote   
 
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
 
 
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?