Part one of a three-part series
Analysis from the Congressional Budget Office of Obama's fiscal 2011 budget depicts a president sending America on a borrowing and spending spree unprecedented among post-World War II administrations. Obama's budget plan, CBO estimates, will add $9.8 trillion in debt between 2011 and 2020, with $3.7 trillion of that debt attributable to new policies proposed by Obama.
The Financial Report of the United States Government for 2009, quietly published in 2010, revealed the hard numbers behind America's fiscal situation. Using those numbers, the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation reported that, as of Sept. 30, 2009, the federal government faced a total $61.9 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
These included debts the government has already amassed as well as welfare state entitlement benefits it has promised to pay over the next 75 years that are not covered by the tax revenue the government is currently expecting to take in.
The Government Accountability Office, the auditing agency for Congress, took its own look at the numbers. Without policy changes, it predicted in a statement from the comptroller general of the United States, "[T]he interest costs on the growing debt together with spending on major entitlement programs could absorb 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue in 2019."
That would leave almost no money for carrying out the core constitutional functions of the federal government, such as defending the nation against foreign enemies and securing our borders.
Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan To Ruin Your Life Tuesday: Obama eyes your savings to expand government Wednesday: White House science adviser wants to "de-develop" U.S. Thursday: Obama's agenda includes coercing people out of cars
Because Americans have grown accustomed to government controlling a significant part of their retirement-age health care and income -- and because Americans of a certain age have paid taxes their entire lives on the expectation of receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits -- the programs cannot be terminated. They must be reformed. If liberals will not support programs that liberate people from dependency as a means of closing the federal government's $200,000-per-person shortfall, they will need to raise taxes instead.
This is the path President Obama is taking. At his request, the health care law included a new tax that is theoretically dedicated to paying Medicare benefits. It is a 3.8 percent charge against income earned from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rent by individuals making more than $200,000 per year and married couples making more than $250,000 per year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called this a tax on "unearned income, whatever category that is." In reality, it is a new tax on savings. It is a tax on the house that is paid off, the insurance policy dutifully kept, the little extra that members of a family decided not to spend today so they could invest in a business that would profit in the long run.
It is a tax on people who believed in the American dream and acted on it, on people who worked hard and made plans to take care of themselves and their own. It is a tax on Americans who still think and act like pioneers.
It is a pipeline, laid down by control freaks, to drain the life savings of the provident into the $61.9 trillion pit of the welfare state. It is a tax they can use to help finance a mortgage-style bailout for the house of big government.
Now that this tax is in place, watch as they try to increase the rate and decrease the income threshold for those required to pay it.
Terry Jeffrey, editor in chief of CNSNews.com, is author of "Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan To Ruin Your Life," from which this article is adapted.