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The United States of Envy (Land of the free so long as nobody makes more money than approved)
Financial Post ^ | 01/25/2012 | Terence Corcoran

Posted on 01/25/2012 8:06:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Republican candidate Mitt Romney could have released his income tax returns two days ago or two weeks from now. Instead, he dumped 500 pages of his returns into America’s raging class warfare zone on the same day President Barack Obama was set to deliver his State of the Union address — an election document that, among other things, contained numerous devices aimed at expanding the war.

Welcome to the United States of Envy, land of the free and home of the brave so long as nobody makes too much more money than the next guy. The President’s address was peppered with references to fairness, the middle class, inequality and other code words that pander to the anti-rich and anti-capitalist Democratic core.

In a direct provocation aimed at Mr. Romney and his Republican compatriots, Mr. Obama orchestrated the public relations trick of having the personal secretary of billionaire Democrat Warren Buffett sit beside Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address. Mr. Buffett famously declared that he paid a higher tax rate on his total income, about 15%, than did his secretary, Debbie Bosanek.

Mr. Buffett never released his personal tax returns, which would show that—like Mr. Romney—he earns the vast bulk of his annual income from investments. Investment income is taxed at a lower rate than earned income, mainly because taxes are already paid by the corporation that generates the investment income. Having Mr. Buffett’s secretary sitting beside the First Lady reflected the priority Mr. Obama will give to class warfare over the next year. He supports the Buffett Rule, which allegedly aims to tax the rich on all their income at the same rate that everybody else is taxed. Details are sketchy, but the Buffett surtax on the rich would apparently apply to about 500,000 Americans who earn more than $1-million a year.

The essential message is: Let’s Tax Away Mitt Romney’s Rich Man’s Income. His $20-million taxable income per year is also seen as ill-gotten by some definition, either through inheritance or corporate takeovers or venture capital activities or via Wall Street manipulation. Never mind that Mr. Romney’s effective tax rates—13.9% in 2010 and $15.4% in 2011—reflect his high investment income that is already taxed at various corporate levels. Any attempt to extract more tax out of Mr. Romney or any of America’s rich would amount to abusive double taxation.

All this attention directed at the oppressive rich and down-trodden middle class marks a a depressing decline in the U.S. moral code, which is that people have a right to get rich and getting rich helps fuel the economy.

Preoccupation with the incomes of Mr. Romney and the U.S. rich represents class warfare that is also a war on America’s past. Ayn Rand famously also said: “The upper classes are merely a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” From out of today’s middle class will come tomorrow’s rich. Mr. Obama’s attack on today’s rich is also an attack on tomorrow’s rich, aiming to foreclose on the future ability of American’s to get rich being capitalists.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, born in the United States of Envy, aligns 99% of the population against the 1%, the rich that are America’s past. While he is running to be president tomorrow, Mr. Romney—as a wealthy man—represents America’s past achievements.

Perhaps the Romney strategy was to directly engage the Democrats in a war Mr. Obama seems all to eager to wage. “You want to go after the rich? Well, I’m rich and I’m ready to defend my wealth and my family’s achievement and America’s achievement in allowing us to become rich. My job is to make sure all American’s have the same opportunity.”

If that’s his plan, it’s a good one.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fairness; redistribution; socialism

1 posted on 01/25/2012 8:06:14 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

~ Thy shall not steal

~ Thy shall not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.

Barry the honey badger don`t care. He just takes what he wants.

2 posted on 01/25/2012 8:11:51 AM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: SeekAndFind

I specifically heard a clip of 0bama walking along in a hall, with presstitutes in tow. He specifically said, “I am the President of the United States. No one should make more than I do.”

Remember that.

3 posted on 01/25/2012 8:12:43 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Para-Ord.45
--Thou shalt not steal

--Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

Is this in the Koran? If not, you can't expect Barry to be familiar with these commandments. Jeremiah Wright probably didn't have time to talk about them--he was too busy denouncing "white man's greed."

4 posted on 01/25/2012 8:56:32 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: combat_boots
I wonder if Barack will call Prince Fielder and tell him that he shouldn't make more than the President of the United States.

There's an old story that Babe Ruth was making more money one year than President Hoover. When Ruth was asked about it, he said, "I had a better year than he did."

5 posted on 01/25/2012 8:59:13 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: SeekAndFind
Keep in mind, the big picture behind Barack Obama.

His premise is that the "rich" should "pay their fair share." While I agree that we should all be paying some taxes to fund a limited government, there are no limits to Obama's brand of government.

Sure, everyone thinks he's talking about a millionaire's tax, but really if such a tax were to take hold, the premise of "fair share" would creep down through all income levels.

But here's the one question that hasn't been asked--what exactly are we funding? What is the target we're trying to reach with our tax revenue? Is it to fund a specific program? Is it to cover all current federal spending for one year? Is it to pay our 15 trillion off in some time frame--3 years, 5 years?

This is the issue I have with Obama's desire to tax more. He doesn't articulate a target at which we're all aiming--Kennedy told everyone we're headed to the moon. It was a challenge, but we knew the distance, and we knew when we reached it. It was a challenge that could be time-boxed, and we could get our arms around it.

With Obama's taxation goals, there's no trip to the moon; his trip is endless. Just shut up, and keep paying your taxes. He'll let us know when we've been taxed enough. But everyone is so focused on the "how much?" instead of the "what for?" question, that no one's thought to ask.

6 posted on 01/25/2012 9:32:13 AM PST by Lou L (The Senate without a filibuster is just a 100-member version of the House.)
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