Reality Check From CBS: Obama’s Infomercial Didn’t Discuss The True Cost Of His Presidency

First the Associated Press and now CBS is finding fault with Obama’s claims from last night’s 30-minute ad. In a nutshell, Wyatt Andrews shows us that it will not be possible for Obama to keep his campaign promises (just like Bill Clinton was unable to keep his) when it came to budgets, new spending and taxes.

From the article:

Let’s start with his highly suspect, and widely discredited, claim that he can find federal “spending cuts beyond the costs” of his promises. Very few independent economists believe he has identified the savings needed to offset his remarkable list of tax credits, tax cuts and spending pledges.

Fact: Even if you believe Obama intends to fix health care, most independent analysts say the cost is massive – $1.2 trillion over ten years, according to the highly respected Lewin Group. When the new Congress wakes up next year to a $1 trillion deficit, and answers the overwhelming new demands for another stimulus package, will the leadership really bite on a health care reform package that digs the deficit hole so much deeper?

And this:

Fact: The tax cuts he promises, which are mostly refundable tax credits (code for cash back), will cost $60 billion just in year one, according the National Taxpayers Union, though the Obama campaign’s own estimates in July put that figure at $130 billion.

But what a great time to be a worker who owes no taxes! You get a check for not paying taxes at all! Wealth redistribution, here we come!

And this:

Fact: His new promise to give businesses a $3,000 tax credit for each new job created will cost $40 billion. But economists say this credit is far more likely to benefit companies already planning to expand and will likely not be enough to help companies create new jobs or forestall layoffs.

Yep. That wealth redistribution check isn’t going to mean much to the workers who will lose their jobs because their employers are getting over-taxed.

Fact: Obama’s claim he will lower health care premiums by $2,500 is: 1.) guesswork, which is 2.) based on health care savings that might, in a perfect world, happen over 10 years – a fact Obama neatly glosses over.

And we already know what happened in Canada and Great Britain with their versions of socialized medicine.

Most of the time he spends the Iraq savings in the context of the roads he wants to build; sometimes it’s for the teachers he wants to hire. Tonight, he riffed rhetorically on the savings, asking how many scholarships could be funded, or how many schools could be built. In the end though, presuming he really saves $90 billion, he can only spend it once.

Remember he also mentioned rebuilding the military ($7 billion/yr); his education initiative ($18 billion/yr); and his energy initiative ($15 billion/yr). He did not mention the $188 billion that he would spend on the brand new stimulus package he has proposed.

If he closes every loophole as promised, saves every dime from Iraq, raises taxes on the rich and trims the federal budget as he’s promised to do “line by line,” he still doesn’t pay for his list. If he’s elected, the first fact hitting his desk will be the figure projecting how much less of a budget he has to work with – thanks to the recession. He gave us a very compelling vision with his ad buy tonight. What he did not give us was any hint of the cold reality he’s facing or a sense of how he might prioritize his promises if voters trust him with the White House.

Awesome article!

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Reality Check: The Cost Of Obama’s Pledges
Wyatt Andrews
CBS News
October 29, 2008

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