It's bad enough when the universal consensus is that you lost the first presidential debate. What's worse for President Obama is that his own team concedes he did so without telling the truth.
Stephanie Cutter, Mr. Obama's deputy campaign manager essentially called her boss a liar on Thursday. During the previous night's contest, Mitt Romney refused to allow the president to get away with saying the GOP tax plan would result in a $5 trillion cut that is not paid for."My No. 1 principle is there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit," the former Massachusetts governor explained to the former Illinois senator. "So any language to the contrary is simply not accurate."
When CNN informed Ms. Cutter that its own analysis confirmed that the Romney plan closes loopholes and deductions to bring in more revenue, she was forced to admit, "Well, OK, stipulated, it won't be near $5 trillion."
The facts didn't get in the way of Mr. Obama repeating more debate falsehoods on Friday. He told an audience at George Mason University in Virginia that the GOP candidate "said there's no way that he'd close the loophole that gives big oil companies billions each year in corporate welfare."
Actually, Mr. Romney said Wednesday that the hundred-year-old tax credit that amounts to less than $3 billion a year is "probably not going to survive" if he is successful in reducing the corporate tax rate from a worldwide high of 35 percent to 25 percent.
Mr. Obama continues to claim his Republican challenger would raise taxes on middle-class families by $2,000 a year. He said in the debate that the GOP candidate's plan could never be revenue neutral without closing deductions and loopholes for average Americans, insisting, "It's math. It's arithmetic." If so, it's some kind of new math.
Mr. Romney vows to do the opposite, lowering taxes on middle-income families through a 20 percent reduction in rates. He also pointed out that the one study upon which Mr. Obama based his accusations has been debunked by neutral economists and fact checkers.
A new report from the American Enterprise Institute shows Mr. Obama is the one who will oppress the middle class because the massive debt incurred under the current administration will result in higher taxes. The economists estimated the real annual cost for households to service the debt -- the current $16.2 trillion plus the $7.6 trillion increase projected under Mr. Obama's policies -- would be a $4,000 a year tax hike on middle-income families.
The Romney campaign released a new TV ad Friday on this point. "Obama's four deficits are the four largest in U.S. history," the announcer intones over slides showing the facts. "He's adding almost as much debt as all 43 previous presidents combined, and over 30 cents of every dollar Obama spends is borrowed." By the Congressional Budget Office's reckoning, the year-end fiscal 2012 books reflected another $1.1 trillion deficit, the fourth highest since World War II.
It's as if Mr. Obama is acting under the illusion that no one will call him out on his falsehoods. With four weeks until Election Day, it's looking more likely that voters will realize a second term would mean larger deficits for the budget and the truth.
The Washington Times
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Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution