Commentary Magazine has a great article by John Steele Gordon. I think it is quite revealing.
President Obama’s press conference yesterday—in which he only took questions from left-leaning reporters apparently–contained an amazing statement. It should be noted the first two instances of the first person singular pronoun in the sentence refer to Barack Obama, President of the United States. The second two refer to Barack Obama, taxpaying citizen:
And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans. (emphasis mine)
But, unlike Scrooge McDuck, the rich do not put the excess in a vast money bin and frolic about in it. They invest it. What a concept! Where does Obama think new capital comes from, the tooth fairy? It’s nothing more than the excess of income over outgo. Take away the income the rich “don’t need” and spend it on social programs, and capital formation in this country drops to zero.
Gordon nails it completely. In the absence of experience, or for that matter, reality, Obama takes to the leftist mantra that wealth is unfair, and that government is the arbiter of who gets what, or who keeps what.
Government, under the liberal vision, confiscates wealth, and spends it as they see fit. And, we see the results every day; an expanding dependent class, increased poverty, and decreased economic activity. The economic pump is not “primed,” as FDR put it, it is instead buried, and sealed in concrete. The left fails to realize that without the enticement of profit, businesses do not spend. If businesses do not spend, they cannot be taxed. When they cannot be taxed, government revenues goes down. And then, the left’s precious social programs, which exacerbate the very problems that they are meant to ameliorate, are underfunded.
The fact that history teaches this again and again, without exception, is irrelevant to the left. Steele goes back in time to show that reality bounces right off of Obama…
So determined is Obama to deprive “the rich” of excess income–as defined by him, of course–he is even willing to adversely impact government income in order to do so. Read this colloquy between Obama and ABC’s Charlie Gibson in a 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton:
MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the [capital gains tax] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’?ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
MR. GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.
SENATOR OBAMA: Well, that might happen or it might not. It depends on what’?s happening on Wall Street and how business is going.
Actually, it doesn’t. Every time capital gains tax rates have gone up, revenues have gone down and vice versa. High capital gains tax rates, because the tax liability is only incurred when an asset is sold, have the effect of locking in capital, which is economically pernicious, preventing capital from flowing to its most productive, i.e wealth creating, use.
Again, he knocks it right out of the park. The ignorance of economic reality, and the effort to destroy the rich, no matter the fact that they will destroy the economy in the process, means nothing to Obama and his ilk. His statement about “fairness” is frankly asinine, as it not only unfair to steal what others have legally earned, it will eventually hurt everyone. The government will be underfunded, jobs will be lost, and everyone will be poorer. But then again, socialism doesn’t build people up equally, it screws everyone down equally.
We call socialism “trickle up poverty” for a reason. Because it is.