Belmont Debate

Here are a couple of items from tonight’s debate that sent a tingle up my leg ….

This snippet from Obama on government spending (from CNN transcript, emphasis mine),

“So we’re going to have to make some investments, but we’ve also got to make spending cuts. And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.”

A net spending cut? That’s the first time I’ve heard this. It is nowhere to be found at his website. Perhaps he has detailed these spending cuts somewhere else. Or perhaps it is similar in to the so-called “peace dividend” of the Clinton Administration when only the Defense budget was cut.

In fact, Major Garrett reporting on Fox News stated that the Obama Campaign described the spending cuts as a combination of savings that will be realized by withdrawing from Iraq, and by sunsetting the rate reductions in the Tax Reform Act of 2001. In other words, there are no targeted spending cuts in any government spending programs at all.

And later, responding to another question on fiscal policy, Obama said,

“It means looking at the spending side, but also at the revenue side. I mean, Sen. McCain has been talking tough about earmarks, and that’s good, but earmarks account for about $18 billion of our budget.

Now, when Sen. McCain is proposing tax cuts that would give the average Fortune 500 CEO an additional $700,000 in tax cuts, that’s not sharing a burden.”

If I’m doing my math correctly, 500 CEO’s getting a $700k tax cut comes to some $350 million. A tidy sum, to be sure, but it pales next to the $18 Billion in earmark pork barrel spending that Obama minimizes. The fact that Obama himself has requested more in earmark pork barrel spending than would be raised by his targeting of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500 speaks for itself. This was a poorly played piece of class warfare, but it does speak to the need of the Right to put the TCFTR meme to bed once and for all.

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