Elections have consequences. So suck it up and own it, America.
America decided on Nov. 6.
More than 121 million of us voted, and more than 62 million cast their ballots for the incumbent, President Obama.
While some liberal political pundits like Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton wrongly claim the president has a “mandate” (he doesn’t, he won just 51 percent of the vote and 48 percent of America voted against him), they are correct when they assert, as they have repeatedly since Election Day, that “elections have consequences.”
So, time to suck it up and own it, America (or at least the 51 percent of you that voted for Mr. Obama). The consequences of the 2012 election are coming — higher taxes for everyone. And that, you 62 million-plus people, is just what you voted for, whether you like it or not.
Let’s linger here a moment: Yes, America, YOU VOTED FOR HIGHER TAXES! During his four-year campaign for re-election, the president never said a word about cutting spending. He still doesn’t plan any, even in the 11th hour of fractious debate over the “fiscal cliff” (USA Today on Thursday: “The president is not seeking any immediate spending cuts”).
But Mr. Obama did say exactly 7,381,964 times that he would raise taxes. Of course, he lied when he said they would strike only millionaires and billionaires (all 245,000 of them — there was never a real plan to balance the books on their backs). Spending cuts out, new “revenue” in — and that’s just what you voted for, America, so shut up and send in your cash.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” Benjamin Franklin said. And there is a corollary just as true: Taxes never die, they only go up. But they also inevitably expand to hit the masses. Note how the president quietly changed his class-warfare target from “the 1 percent” to “the 2 percent” he says makes more than $250,000. It won’t be long until the ceiling drops to $200,000, then $150,000. Really, two people making $75,000 each? Have they no shame?
You need only do the math to know it’s coming: Mr. Obama’s “millionaire” tax would bring in $800 billion over 10 years. That’s $80 billion a year. The United States spends $4 billion A DAY on debt interest alone. So, the president’s plan would pay the debt interest for 20 days. Not exactly a solution to the $16 trillion national debt.
Make no mistake, both sides are to blame. The government has, over the last decade, grown almost entirely dysfunctional. There is no longer any sense of reality within the halls of Congress, where elected lawmakers spend money faster than the IRS can collect it. Neither Republicans nor Democrats hesitate in the slightest to spend more than taxpayers send in — massive deficits exploded during the two George W. Bush terms, from $420 billion in 2002 to $1 trillion in 2008; Mr. Obama’s deficits have averaged $1.5 trillion.
You think it will stop there? Think again. For the last budget cycle, analysts calculated the United States would collect $2.5 trillion. In its bizarro world, Congress then decided to spend $3.6 trillion. None of our public servants batted an eye.
The nanny state is the president’s plan — Americans’ cash pouring into the government’s coffers to be “redistributed.” Given away. To whomever the government decides “deserves” it.
Want to plan for your own future? Absurd. Give us your money and we’ll give it back to you in 40 years — if we deem you worthy. Want to climb the ladder by blood, sweat and tears, live the American Dream? Quiet down. If you work hard, we’ll just take more and more; you’re better off giving up and just begging us for a handout — oh, and you better vote Democrat next election or the free money ends.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He is more right today than he may have known. But another often unsung president once said something that may be even more profound and prescient.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” Gerald Ford said that — right before he lost to the first free-handout president, Jimmy Carter.
So, America, it’s time to pay the piper. Mr. Obama has promised you prosperity, as long as you toe the line, do as you’re told and send in trillions of your hard-earned money. For his part, he’ll do — absolutely nothing. He’ll simply spend your bankroll however he sees fits, and in the end, decide whether you deserve to get any of your own money back. Oh, and on top of that, what you’re already giving the government isn’t enough — he’ll be taking more real soon.
It’s what you voted for, America. So suck it up and own it.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.