Barack Obama has stepped out of the shadows. He has more or less been absent from the scene while Republicans and Democrats have tried to hammer out the budget for the remainder of 2011. Now, after spending at historic levels and exploding the deficit like no other president in history, he suddenly has a plan, and guess what it involves? That’s right… the “rich” paying more of their “fair share.”
Obama’s speech was simply painful to watch. It was filled with contradictions and the same, tired leftwing rhetoric. At the beginning, he feels obligated to say that the rich aren’t the bad guys, but then spends the rest of the speech treating them as if they were.
Here’s part of his early comments:
As a country that values fairness, wealthier individuals have traditionally born a greater share of this burden than the middle class or those less fortunate. This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well – we rightly celebrate their success. Rather, it is a basic reflection of our belief that those who have benefitted most from our way of life can afford to give a bit more back.
I know it’s just an introductory passage, but there are already problems with it, and they should be pointed out so people can recognize just how liberals think. First, we have the word “benefitted,” as if somehow the person who started a company or created a new invention did so by something other than their own hard work and perseverance. They weren’t given gifts or “benefits” while others weren’t. They earned them. They tried. They succeeded. In addition, there’s the phrase “give a bit more back.” Wow… where to start? First, let’s look at ACTUAL giving back… who funds the charitable organizations? Who gives to the poor? The poor? No. Those with the funds to do so are the ones who “give back.” But paying taxes is not “giving back.” It is taking. It is the government taking from you and me to pay for all these crazy programs that it runs.
After that passage, the niceties end. Obama goes on to describe the ills of the Bush tax cuts. Don’t forget, these are tax rates that Obama himself supported just four months ago.
Obama gives us this gem from his speech:
Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes?
Let’s think about this. Let’s say Obama is right and that the top 1% did see their incomes rise. Well… they pay most of the taxes anyway, and now they are making more money. Their tax bracket is the highest of all at 35%. This means, if they are making more, then they are paying more to the government. And Obama thinks this is a bad thing?
Obama also twists the rhetoric to confuse the American people. It is our job to make sure Americans know the facts. A decade ago, the tax rates were lowered for ALL Americans. There was a debate just a few months ago, and those rates were left unchanged. So, now, Obama is talking about a “tax break” or “tax cut” for the rich. NO ONE is talking about that. We are talking about keeping the rates as is… for all people. But Obama calls maintaining the tax rate for the middle class as “protecting” them, but calls maintaining the tax rate for the top bracket as a “tax cut.”
Obama used the word millionaire four times in his speech. He used the word billionaire three times. Yet the top tax bracket starts at $250,000. As Grover Norquist points out, this bracket is where two-thirds of small business profits reside. Tax them at a higher rate, and let’s see what that does to hiring and capital improvements.
I think Vice President Joe Biden summed up Obama’s speech the best:
Here is what budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan had to say about the speech:
This line from Ryan says it all: “Exploiting people’s emotions of fear, envy, and anxiety is not hope, it’s not change, it’s partisanship.”
Obama has shown that he is incapable of leading. His budget speech correctly notes that entitlement programs soak up the majority of the budget. As is, they will only soak up more with each passing year. Obama does not address this problem. He simply wants the rich to pay more taxes.
So beware. Obama’s speech was exactly how Ryan described it. Do we want a president who tries to rally support by making Americans jealous and envious of other Americans? What is a “fair share” anyway? Obama talks about it, but never defines it.
We all pay too much in taxes, because we are trying to fund a government that spends too much. Obama’s plan will only tax more and spend more, but will not solve our fiscal problems. He leaves that to yet another commission. How about we demand our fair share of presidential leadership?