Earlier this week, Obama suggested that opposition to his jobs plan is coming from people who “just couldn’t understand the whole thing at once.” Fortunately for those idiots, VP Biden was deployed to a 4th grade classroom in Pennsylvania to describe the plan in a slow and patronizing voice. Here’s the tape, via the York Daily Record:
And the key parts of the transcript:
What the president and I are trying to do and the reason I’m here today is we have an idea. We think that all the teachers who got what they call “laid off” and don’t have a job because there’s not enough money in the cities and the towns and the states to hire them — we think the federal government in Washington, D.C. should say to the cities and the states “look, we’re gonna give you some money, so you can hire back all those people.”
He forgot to mention the part where the teachers’ unions rebuffed negotiations with local governments, preferring to take the layoffs rather than stomach cuts to benefits. Sending an extra influx of federal money to school districts is like taking painkillers and expecting them to heal a broken arm. The arm might stop hurting for awhile, but once the medicine runs out it’s still going to be broken. Any teachers rehired because of Obama’s stimulus have a good chance of finding themselves out of a job a few years later unless local governments are able to fix deep-seated problems with unions and budget mismanagement.
But while the benefits of the stimulus are temporary, the mechanism the government would use to fund it aren’t:
And the way we’re gonna do it is we’re going to ask people who have a lot of money, who are in good shape, who are doing very well, to pay just a little bit more in taxes. So for example, we’re going to say to people who make a million dollars, and there’s not a lot of those people, we’re going to say, you pay $500 a year more in taxes. And if everybody making a million dollars, or those people who make more than a million dollars like billionaires, if they pay a little bit more in taxes they can pay for all the teachers and all the firefighters and all the police officers who lost their jobs to come back and help the community. And that’s what we’re here today talking about.
Either Biden is horrible at math (it’s forgivable), or he’s deliberately being misleading here. Under Obama’s 5 percent surtax proposal, a millionaire wouldn’t pay $500 extra a year – he’d pay $50,000 extra a year. We can argue about whether or not that’s fair, but to claim it’s just an additional $500 is just flat-out false.