Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on October 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In his attempt to build support for his American Jobs Act, Barack Obama went on the Tonight Show and held a fundraiser afterward [see update]. He’d have been better off attending a math class first. Obama pushed the Senate’s “millionaire surtax” proposal to pay for a portion of the costs, and tried to impress people with just how little this would cost the rich:

Obama touted a provision of his jobs proposal that would give states money to retain teachers, firefighters and police, funded by a surtax on annual earnings above $1 million. Someone making $1.1 million a year would pay “an extra $500 — 500 bucks,” he told the well-heeled crowd, which laughed.

First, the surtax was not part of Obama’s proposal; that came from Harry Reid, and it replaced tax hikes that were too onerous for even Democrats to swallow.  But the real problem with Obama’s claim is that it literally doesn’t add up.  The surtax applies a 5.6% tax on all income over a million dollars in a year.  On $1,100,000 of income, the surtax would get applied to the $100,000 as Obama says — but 5.6% of $100,000 is not $500.  It’s $5,600, which is eleven times more than Obama claimed on national television.

Apparently Obama can’t do math, which is hardly surprising given the outcome of his economic policies.  The “well-heeled crowd” of Democrats seem to have the same problem.  (h/t: HA reader Robert C)

Update: Originally, I thought Obama said this on the Tonight Show, but reader DGB points out in the comments that this was actually said at the fundraiser afterward.  My apologies to Jay Leno, and I’ve changed the post above to reflect that.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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Electrongod on October 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Mathin’ is haaaaarrrrrd!!

crazy_legs on October 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM

It’s simple grade school arithmetic, NOT math. Obama cannot do arithmetic. Do not confuse simple arithmetic with trig, algebra, calculus, differential equations. He could be excused for struggling with math. Many do.

exdeadhead on October 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Apparently Obama can’t do math

Obama can’t do _______________.

Fill in the blank; the list of potential correct answers is VERY long.

CantCureStupid on October 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

You lie! Again!

itsnotaboutme on October 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Pandering.

kingsjester on October 27, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Like his student loan plan he presents it as something it totally is not.

ctmom on October 27, 2011 at 8:16 AM

He’s being reported to MathWatch.

JimK on October 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

the love fest continues

cmsinaz on October 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Constitutional scholars don’t do math……Apparently community organizer’s don’t either.

Rovin on October 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

But he can spell Potato

Gwillie on October 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

But he can spell Potato

Gwillie on October 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Prove it.

:)

Fallon on October 27, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Hooray for grades based on something other than merit!

rogerb on October 27, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Pretty scary, how far PBHO has gone in life… The journey takes a different turn NOV 2012…

Khun Joe on October 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM

I understood the percentage and I SUCK at math. Obama claiming something on national television tends to mean LIES, unless we killed someone, of course.

RDE2010 on October 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Leno’s man on the street questions garner more intelligent responses and those people are blithering idiots.

Extrafishy on October 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM

B+
D-
A+

They all look the same….

percysunshine on October 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

We need a Math czar!

Beaglemom on October 27, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Everybody gets a trophy!

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Leno’s man on the street questions garner more intelligent responses and those people are blithering idiots.

Extrafishy on October 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Heh. Beat me to it.

apostic on October 27, 2011 at 8:37 AM

It’s $5,600, which is eleven times more than Obama claimed on national television.

Misunderestimated…by eleventy.

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I want to see his college transcripts. And his passport records.

Naturally Curly on October 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

He can’t do math, but have you seen him bowl???

ted c on October 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Leno’s man on the street questions garner more intelligent responses and those people are blithering idiots.

Extrafishy on October 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM

and they all vote democrat

darwin-t on October 27, 2011 at 8:43 AM

herman cain can do math.

ted c on October 27, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Misunderestimated…by eleventy.

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Well played

darwin-t on October 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

He’s being reported to MathWatch.

JimK on October 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Heh heh heh. You forgot the eleven extra A’s though.

¡Vigilancia de matemáticaaaaaaaaaaaas!

inviolet on October 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Whoever called Ø a SCoaMF really nailed it, huh?

ExpressoBold on October 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

http://www.khanacademy.org is quite helpful

ted c on October 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

He’s being reported to MathWatch.

JimK on October 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

We should set that up for all politicians and maybe a special chair for them to sit in to encourage truthfulness.

tim c on October 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

As if he cares if what he says is the truth.

Cindy Munford on October 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM

He can’t do math, but have you seen him bowl bow???

ted c on October 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Fixed it for you :-)

The_Livewire on October 27, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Obamath.

tinkerthinker on October 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Why is the POTUS on a late night talk show selling his policies? This administration is a three-ring circus.

DrStock on October 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Can you imagine Barack Obama trying to manage a supermarket? It would go out of business in one month. Unreal.

visions on October 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM

It’s astonishing, isn’t it? That this snake oil salesman jumps on a bus and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars running around the country peddling something he hasn’t even bothered to get his facts straight about? Yet, he does it over and over again and the general public seems ready to drink any elixir or swallow any pill he has to offer without question! Incredible.

scalleywag on October 27, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Either:
1) He’s really smart, which means he is lying and deceitful

or

2) He’s not all that smart.

This was a planned event. He had to know what his lines were, this was planned out with aides before hand. Either no one in this regime can do math or they are purposely lying to us. Not sure which is worse.

rbj on October 27, 2011 at 9:35 AM

ted c on October 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Have you seen the crease in his pants? Now that’s presidential!
Basic 5th grade arithmetic, this doesn’t even rise to the level of “hard” math, but he’s the smartest man to ever occupy the oval office, just ask any liberal. Bravo Sierra!

Mini-14 on October 27, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Remember when he claimed that Obamacare would reduce peoples’ health insurance premiums by 3,000%? It was an idiotic statement that your average third-grader would have laughed at, but the MSM barely even reported it. Had a Republican president said something that stupid, it would have been fodder for the late-night comedians for months. But Barry’s ignorance always gets covered up by his minions in the MSM and Hollywood.

AZCoyote on October 27, 2011 at 9:38 AM

He’s a SCOAMF. Don’t think so? Do the math.

TXUS on October 27, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Why is the POTUS on a late night talk show selling his policies? This administration is a three-ring circus.

DrStock on October 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Because he’s a celebrity, not a president.

scalleywag on October 27, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Obama, like myself and most people, belongs to the 99% who are not experts in Math. The burden of all Math should be given to those remaining 2% who actually excel in Math!! I call for the redistribution of Math, where everyone pays their fair share!!

AverageJoe on October 27, 2011 at 9:53 AM

This administration is a three-ring circus.

DrStock on October 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

A three-ring circus that was as bad as he is wouldn’t make it through the first night.

chemman on October 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM

B+
D-
A+

They all look the same….

percysunshine on October 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Change the order. Obama is a B+ A+ D- president, of all 57 states.

Steve Z on October 27, 2011 at 10:06 AM

No wonder he’s to ashamed to show off those grades from college. They must be horrendous.

The mere fact that he got anywhere in life only proves he was carried, propped, and or held by the hand, every step of the way. It’s pathetic!!!

capejasmine on October 27, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Someone making $1.1 million a year would pay “an extra $500 — 500 bucks,” he told the well-heeled crowd, which laughed.

And Obama wasted 500 times $1.1 million of OUR bucks on Solyndra.

Wait ’til he sees the tax bill on royalties from The Audacity of Hope.

Steve Z on October 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM

When you’ve got nothing left, you lie and hope you get away with it.

(and rarely do)

golfmann on October 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Why is the POTUS on a late night talk show selling his policies?
DrStock on October 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Because it was really a re-election campaign appearance, as is everything he does nowadays.

KS Rex on October 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

EM,

I haven’t located a transcript of the Leno interview but the LAT article makes it plain that Mr. Obama was touting the surtax at the post-interview fundraiser not on national television.

There is no mention of the surtax in the Tonight Show transcript.

The math is still wrong, but within the margin of error for this White House that missed $500B in suppressed costs in Obamacare.

DGB

Damian Bennett on October 27, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Hey now, Obama can count to twenty if he’s naked.

mrt721 on October 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM

We paid this guy to appear on Leno? Really?

the_souse on October 27, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Does this discussion mean that conservatives have won on the Bush tax cuts for the “wealthy?” This “surtax” is just slightly more than what the tax rates were prior to them being decreased by 4% across the board. The Dems had consistently said they wanted to let the Bush tax cuts expire for those in the upper brackets. Now, the Dems won’t even try to allow a surtax for a large number of people in those tax brackets, with Dems like Chuck Shumer explaining that $250K a year really isn’t that much money.

But the main takeaway from these speeches is that the Libs only want to talk about the “little bit more.” Why not talk about the fact that the people they are wanting to tax are probably already paying close to half of that income in federal and state taxes…and that is excluding real estate, sales, etc. It is not just $500 (or $5600), it is that plus $35K to $45K (depending on the state income tax).

Conservative in NOVA on October 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Just say it is his mantra… It’s not like the MSM will hear this kinda stuff and make a big deal outta the mistakes… they can’t… can’t hear it that is… because they’re still using Barry’s butt cheeks as ear muffs.
-

RalphyBoy on October 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The Tonight Show is performed at the Burbank NBC studios, in the eastern San Fernando Valley just north of Hollywood. While that area can easily be considered above average in affluence, “well heeled” brings to mind a concept of a bunch of martini-sucking suits, and that isn’t what you see if you pan the camera to the audience. On any given day more than a third of the audience are vacationers who got a pair of free tickets in a travel package; others are groups of young adults who are pretty much recruited to fill out the applause sections; a substantial portion are music-lovers who are there to hear the band more than Jay or his guests. If you don’t have date-stamped tickets, you stand in line outside the studio for several hours hoping to get in. Figure the odds that “well-heeled” folks are going to spend the majority of their mid-day and late afternoon doing that.

Just saying. Your average audience at any of the talk shows shown late at night are not the most astute, the most affluent, or the most discerning of folks. Dennis Miller used to absolutely clobber such audiences for their ignorance in his rants, and they laughed like mad, never realizing that the joke was on them. Of course they are going to soak up whatever pablum the Resident is doling out.

Freelancer on October 27, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Harry Reid probably was not too surprized. Obama is a narcissist and a narcissist sees everything as, “What is yours is mine.” no different from a common pickpocketer or a mugger.

The scary part is that Obama is not alone in his lack of skill with simple numbers. The liberal based education is turning out the clueless by the thousands each year.

My daughter was more fortunate. She went through her entire pre college education in the gifted programs of our school district. That meant she received the same education that I was given back when I went to school. When she went off to college she was shocked at the numbers of her classmates that could not do simple math calculation or grasp more advanced concepts, even with her help. In one class she had to take over from the professor who could not explain how to do the math required in the course.

The ignorance was not limited to math. He classmates ability to understand how to write anything required of them was just as shocking as the math. She could write a paper of nothing but BS in an hour and get an A simply because it was well written BS. Her college bought her notes so they could give them to the educationally failed and challenged students taking the same course.

Franklyn on October 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Whoever called Ø a SCoaMF really nailed it, huh?

ExpressoBold on October 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Forgive my ignorance, but I’ve been watching the threads for awhile, and have never been able to find the definition of “SCoaMF.”

Apparently it is common knowledge at HotAir, except for me…

Anyone?
Bueller?

Thanx ;-)

cane_loader on October 27, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Whose imagination and willingness?
At a fundraiser last night President Obama said:

“We’ve lost our ambition, our — our imagination, and — and — our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and unleashed all the potential in this country,”

Interesting fact about the Golden Gate (From California Historian):

“This bridge was the first of such magnitude and controversy to be completely financed by private citizens (Gronquist 128-129). All who did contribute money were promised restitution at four and three-fourths percent interest rate within a maximum of 40 years.

It is amazing how successful this way of financing was, considering the effects of the Great Depression.”

More importantly the insurmountable level of regulations required to complete a project such as the Golden Gate Bridge or Hoover Dam would kill either of these projects before they even got to the drafting stage.

As Rush Limbaugh said today:

“The people in this country have their imagination. The people of this country still have their dreams and their willingness to do things. You stand in the way. The federal government stands in the way. Mountainous regulations. We did build the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building in ten years — and we did it in the middle of the Great Depression. You couldn’t do it today. Regardless the ambition, imagination, willingness, or desire, you couldn’t do it in ten years today. Look at Ground Zero in Manhattan. You couldn’t do it. I mean, physically it could be done, but it couldn’t be legally done.”

LifeTrek on October 27, 2011 at 5:56 PM

It’s $5,600, which is eleven times more than Obama claimed on national television.

Misunderestimated…by eleventy.

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Completely unexpected.

Solaratov on October 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM