President Obama’s recent deficit speech defied logic, tortured statistics, and targeted political enemies. It also did Americans a service by revealing the underlying animus the President has for those who achieve monetary success in America.
Whenever Obama pre-emptively and strenuously denies that he thinks something, he almost invariably thinks it. So, for example, when he told Americans last week that he doesn’t want to tax the rich “because we begrudge those who’ve done well — we rightly celebrate their success,” but because we need to “afford” programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, you can bet he means precisely the opposite – he doesn’t care a whit about paying for these programs, he cares about punishing the wealthy.
President Obama’s own rhetoric betrays him on this issue – hence his harping on the “fairness” of tax rates rather than the benefits of higher tax receipts. Tax receipts pay for programs; tax rates do not. Tax receipts fund Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; tax rates do not. And yet Obama focuses incessantly on tax rates, even to the exclusion of tax receipts. In 2008, Obama was explicitly asked about raising the capital gains tax rate if it lowered tax receipts. He did not challenge the premise that higher tax rates could lower tax receipts. Instead, he said he would raise tax rates even if it lowered tax receipts. Obama’s answer demonstrated his hatred for those who earn using the hackneyed old “fairness” chestnut: “What I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Obama is hardly the only liberal who suggests that tax rates are more important than tax receipts as a matter of principle. On Sunday, failed 1984 Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale stated that tax rates are a moral issue. “Taxes reveal who we are as a people and what we value,” Mondale wrote in The Washington Post. “The public’s support is greatest for raising taxes on the affluent …” Once again, Mondale cites “fairness” as a rationale for “eliminat[ing] Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.” “Where is the decency in cutting taxes for those making tens of millions while middle America struggles?” Mondale asks. “This is a fight over fairness that Americans can understand.” Mondale’s mistaken belief that raising taxes will “increase revenue” is an ancillary point to him – it’s the basic virtue of eating the rich that mandates it.
Michael Moore thinks the same way. In a typical fire-breathing speech from the rotund rabble-rouser, he told a crowd of Wisconsin union members that America is “awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and portfolios of the uber-rich.” To Moore, one of America’s wealthiest people, the rich must be taxed because they are morally blameworthy, not because we need their money to pay for our programs.
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