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SPOTLIGHT
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What the administration won't tell you

Published on -5/29/2012, 9:02 AM

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With information flying at us from every direction -- from tweets to Facebook posts, reality TV, the blogosphere, the 24-hour news cycle -- it is easy to get lost in the silly and sensationalized rather than reality. And that is just what the Obama administration is hoping we will do.

After years of his failed economic policies, President Barack Obama is trying to distract us from our sluggish economy, unacceptably high rate of unemployment, and the volatile price of essentials, like gas and food. His appearances on late night TV to "Slow-Jam" the news and his "chats" on the couch at "The View" are to keep us from focusing on the unprecedented spending, debt and taxes, which unless reined in will crowd out all other economic activity because they are both sensational and real.

If we don't act, taxes are set to explode in 2013. Not only does much of the current tax code expire, but the new taxes funding the healthcare reform law kick in too. Recent government estimates put this impending tax hike near $500 billion. The average family of four could face a $2,100 tax increase. Seniors could be hit with $1,400 in new taxes. If they have investment income, their tax burden would go up another $1,700 on top of that.

The president and his advisers are hoping Americans will be satisfied with all the information a 140 character tweet gives us on the economy and not probe any further. To do so, would be to discover that we will be paying for the consequences of their fiscal policies for years to come.

Here is what they won't write in a blog. The Federal Reserve Board has dramatically expanded its holding over the past few years by purchasing "toxic assets" from banks and loan guarantees. The Fed has also lowered interest rates to zero.

It might seem like an unbelievable deal now but seniors who live on the interest earned from their life savings find it quite unbelievable. Zero interest cuts the income for which they've planned and saved their whole lives. What will be unbelievable to the rest of us is the rapid rate of inflation on goods and services we will encounter as soon as the Fed begins to release assets from its accounts.

Most unbelievable is the lengths at which the Obama administration will go to increase our taxes. Don't be deceived; both the reduction of investment earnings and inflation are taxes. And both erode Americans' buying power. I have yet to read their Facebook post announcing these inevitable taxes.

As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, I am very concerned that taking money out of the pockets of working families who are trying to make ends meet would further depress the economy. Higher taxes create a disincentive for small businesses to do what they do best: create jobs and grow our economy. I firmly believe that America is strongest when individuals, not government, decide how to spend their money. To that end, I support comprehensive tax reform based on the goals of economic growth, fairness and simplicity.

Sen. Pat Roberts represents Kansas in the U.S. Senate.

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