By the Full Metal Patriot
How fitting that President Obama chose to give his latest “tax the wealthy” speech on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, because like any good pirate, he's all about plundering!
Once again, Obama completely denies that his proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy is class warfare. But what he's doing is a textbook exercise in it. His speeches are peppered with Democrat boilerplate language such as “pay their fair share,” as if the wealthy don't already shoulder a disproportionate share of income taxes. And as if the rich don't “need” everything they've earned, so that makes it ok to continually go back and force them to pay an increasingly greater percentage of their income.
Keying in on a populist message that millionaires and billionaires should pay more in taxes than their secretaries, the president announced a plan in the Rose Garden that includes more than $2 trillion total in entitlement cuts and tax increases over the next decade.
Together with spending cuts enacted last month and projected savings from interest payments, the savings in the president's plan total more than $3 trillion. The Obama administration is also adding on another $1 trillion in savings over 10 years from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though that kind of accounting has been dismissed in past debates as a gimmick.
The $4 trillion effort is tied to his American Jobs Act, aimed at putting nearly 14 million unemployed back to work. Critics have stated that targeting job creators -- the top 1 percent pays 38 percent of the tax burden, according to 2008 estimates -- won't help the jobless find employment.
In a combative set of remarks, the president vowed to veto any package that cuts into Medicare without raising "serious revenues" from wealthy Americans and corporations. He effectively dared Republicans to follow through on their no-tax-hike pledge as the deficit committee works under a strict timeline to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by Thanksgiving.
"We can't just cut our way out of this hole. It's going to take a balanced approach," Obama said. "It's only right that we ask everyone to pay their fair share."
The most controversial part of the plan was already shaping up to be the proposed tax increases.
The solution to America's stalled economy is NOT to extract an additional $1.5 trillion dollars from it! In 2009, Obama clearly stated, “You don't raise taxes in a recession”:
So what has changed since 2009 to cause Obama to change his mind? In a word: re-election.
Today's speech, and the ones that have followed his Jobs Speech grandstanding before a joint session of Congress, are intended to do nothing more than anger Liberals with the notion that someone, somewhere, has more than they do. And to assure them that Cap'n Hopenchange will raid the coffers of the wealthy, make ‘em walk the plank, and redistribute the loot to all faithful Democrats. Today's so-called “Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” is just another election campaign maneuver, designed to placate Obama's angry voter base with some “fairness” red meat. It's not as though this form of economic fail hasn't been seen before:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” (This quote has been attributed to both Alexis de Tocqueville and Sir Alex Fraser Tytler)It's a good thing America is a representative republic, not a democracy. Still, all this class warfare rhetoric from the Democrat Party leans us dangerously in the direction of the latter. Republican candidate Herman Cain immediately keelhauled Obama's tax & spend bilge:
Today, the Obama Administration's assault on the private sector continued. In yet another speech, he called for America's job creators to shoulder an even heavier burden than they must already. President Obama promised that his efforts were not "class warfare," but instead "math."Leslie Carbone penned an excellent piece which makes the a moral case against spreading the wealth:
Perhaps he could learn a lesson or two on math from me. I have a degree in mathematics and spent the earlier days of my career as a supervisory mathematician for the Department of the Navy. Then, I worked for 40 years as an executive in the private sector where I balanced budgets, saved failing companies and created jobs. Both obviously demanded a command of advanced mathematics.
Here's what I can tell him about math: raising taxes on anyone, no matter their income level, will do nothing to stimulate our economy, create jobs or balance our federal budget. Increasing taxes on the private sector will destroy jobs, further damaging our economy and sending even less revenue to the federal government.
His eagerness to punish the private sector indicates he doesn't understand the most important truth of basic economics: the private sector creates jobs. These are the jobs that pay for the food for our families, the roofs over our heads, the heat for our homes, the clothes on our backs, the schools for our kids and the plans for our retirement.
Perhaps his ignorance of basic economics is due to the fact that both he and more than 90 percent of his Administration have no private sector experience at all. Thus, they are all too willing to continually punish America's job creators, all in the name of "fairness."
President Obama's once said, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." I agree. It doesn't matter that he calls it "paying your fair share." It's still class warfare.
There are two principal reasons why the federal government should not be in the business of wealth redistribution.She makes an excellent case. The notion of “fairness” as espoused by Democrats is rarely tackled on a moral level, but Ms. Carbone does it well. Read the whole thing.
First, government imposed wealth redistribution doesn’t work: It doesn’t create, or even spread prosperity, it dampens it. Second, redistribution is not the legitimate purpose of government. Governments are not instituted to spread the wealth around, to make life “fair” or easy or comfortable, to synthesize equality of opportunity, or even to create jobs or growth or prosperity.
As the Declaration of Independence famously declares, governments are instituted among men to insure the preservation of the inalienable rights given to men by their creator. Those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Once these rights are secure, American history demonstrates that the free market does a magnificent job of providing jobs, economic growth and prosperity.
The American Government exists to protect free people from theft, harm or another violation of their rights. We have given our government the power of the sword to exercise this important function and the power of the purse to pay for it.
But progressive taxation, and redistributionary spending, actually violate our rights. When government engages in wealth redistribution--when it seizes from some citizens, simply because they have acquired more than others--it becomes a thing quite monstrous, perverting its own function and abusing the power that it has been granted to maintain. It also ends up suppressing prosperity, diverting resources from where they do the most good, adding unnecessary transaction costs, and diminishing capital, business, job, and wage growth.
Government imposed redistribution does moral harm as well. First, wealth redistribution discourages the virtuous behavior that creates wealth: hard work, saving, investment, personal responsibility. In the natural order, virtue and vice carry their own consequences. Virtue yields largely positive results. Hard work, patience, and orderliness, for example, tend to generate prosperity. Vice, on the other hand, brings negative consequences. Sloth, impatience, and recklessness lead to suffering. By taxing the fruits of the virtuous behavior that creates wealth, government redistribution discourages that behavior.
Our progressive tax system also takes too much money—not just from the so-called rich but also from the middle class—diminishing their economic, and thus their moral, freedom. When government seizes from a family or individual more than is necessary to protect their rights, it diminishes their economic freedom, their capacity to act as responsible moral agents, and to do what they believe is right, including giving to those in need.
Cross-posted at Full Metal Patriot