28 October 2008

Obamath

I was an English major. I struggled against dangling my participles. I read Bakhtin. I even tried to write a new take on Shakespeare (and I still think the "pod spawn of Marlowe" angle is worth further investigation). But just because words were my focus, that doesn't mean that I have no interest in numbers.

The fact is that I love math. In high school it taught me that being a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 wasn't going to get you many dates. In college it kept me under the legal limit. And in my career it has helped me to understand that I need more money.

Yes, I love math. But I fear Obamath.

Obamath is that curious calculation where the numbers just don't seem to add up. It's the will-o-wisp figure that lures you happily into the bog, then changes just as you are about to wrap your fingers around it and leaves you sinking into monetary muck without a lifeline.

Take Obama's payroll tax plan. When The One's campaign began he promised that only those making over $250,000 would fall victim to his tax hike. But just a little while later that income level mysteriously dropped to those making only $200,000. Yesterday, the taxpayer's who Obama defined as rich suddenly got poorer as his Obamath acolyte (Joe Biden) said that the tax will hit those making $150,000 a year. What number will they use next? In Obamath: 250,000 = 200,000 = 150,000 = X, with X being the yet to be defined frightening tax threshold.

Obama also promises that 95% percent of Americans will get a tax cut under his plan. This is an absolutely amazing percentage that is only possible to achieve using Obamath since more than one third of Americans already pay no taxes at all.

Obviously Obamath plays a critical role in the Obama budget. If it didn't, he'd need to call Lord Voldemort to get this proposal working. Just pause for thought: with Wall Street wobbling and main street in foreclosure, what logical formula could he have used to convince himself (and voting Americans) that he could balance the budget through a $1.4 trillion special interest spending spree? Not even the Democrats in the Senate who support his candidacy are willing to vote for his loony budget.

When it comes to campaign donations, Obamath is a blinder that allows the Democratic candidate to ignore rules, withhold information, and dip into foreign currency with a conscience cleaner than his pastor's pulpit language. After breaking his promise to use public financing, Barack Obama freed himself from the financial restraints that McCain decided to accept by keeping his end of the bargain. And by then turning to Obamath, he freed himself from the campaign restraints of maximum donor contributions and foreign contribution restrictions. Freedom ain't free, and through Obamath it doesn't even need to be moral or legal.

Naturally, given its nature, Obamath shows no loyalty to the furtherance of actual math or science. In fact, Obama's budget calls for slashing funds from the home of "the federal government's greatest investments and achievements in math and science": NASA. Go figure.

I still love math. But I fear Obamath.

The image is from Mightywombat.com. Get an i vs pi t-shirt here

4 comments :

  1. Mustang said...

    I’m not an attorney, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. As your non-attorney, I feel compelled to advise you of potentially serious ramifications from any proposition that dares suggest that classical mathematic theory contradicts Obama’s many economic proposals. Even if we discount the likely consequences that your blog will experience increased scrutiny by thousands of ACORN blog-police officials (trolls), there is an even greater danger to your soul in the afterlife. What you have written is clearly heresy to generally accepted Obama doctrine. You can repent these transgressions by voting for the Obamessiah on November 7th.

    Normally, I would charge a hefty fee for this advisement, but under the new Obama tax (and spend) policy, guaranteed to ensure egalitarian society when all of us have nothing, I now offer non-legal advice free of charge.

    Semper Fi

  2. Khaki Elephant said...

    Thank you, Mustang, for your non-legal advice calling for me to recant of the apostasy in my written word. Almost, I am persuaded. And perhaps through prayer and intimidation from the Chosen One's faithful minions, I might yet find Obamic salvation.

    I need return the favor and bid you to turn aside from providing pro-bono non-legal advice to embrace true legal training, for surely trial lawyers are the angels of change and hope, for they work the Messiah's will. It is there calling to bring down the wicked walls of American corporations who, if left unchecked in their capitalistic endeavors, will create jobs, develop competitive technologies and secure Wall Street through stable stock and profitable 401Ks. Surely the destruction of these institutions is the work of God.

  3. Anthony Palmer said...

    According to the Obama plan, your taxes will go up if you make over $250K a year. If you make between $200-250K, your taxes will stay the same. If you make under $200K, your taxes will go down. Biden was just making an example with the $150K.

    So really, everyone under $200K will receive a tax cut according to Obama while everyone making under $250K will not see their taxes increase. Hopefully that clears things up a bit.

  4. Khaki Elephant said...

    Anthony, before "cutting taxes" Obama will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, meaning an increase for virtually everyone who pays taxes. But beyand that and according to the Tax Policy Center Obama will

    *Increase maximum capital gains rate to 20 percent for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples)

    *Restore phaseouts of personal exemptions and itemized deducations (PEP and Pease) for households making more than $200,000

    * Restore 36 and 39.6 percent statutory income tax rates in 2009

    * On Social Security/payroll taxes: impose additional tax of 2-4 percent on workers with income above $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples)

    * Have a corporate tax rate at 35% compared to McCain's 25% (and while he always mentions Exxonmobile, this rate would impact companies like Ford, Chrysler and GM who are already crippled so expect the tax hike to add to the half a million autoworkers who have already lost their jobs).

    * Provide a refundable $3,000 per employee credit for increases in employment for firms with growing employment -- which is tiny compared to the corporate tax he will unload . . . as somebody who hires employees I can tell you that $3,000 is not an incentive to a struggling company when the cost of a full time employee including benefits averages around $50,000 - $60,000.

    etc . . .

    But in the interest of not parsing words, Obama did say earlier that "If you make less than $250,000 your taxes will go down." Those words have changed . . . but then, so did his promise about public funding (not exactly a record of integrity here).

    And finally, when you give money to people who don't pay taxes, that is not a tax cut. It's called welfare, a system that even Clinton slashed, realizing that it was going to bankrupt the country.