Skip to comments.Obama’s Kingdom of Fairness: Forget the debt. It's the role of gov't to soak the undeserving rich.
Posted on 12/06/2012 9:48:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
We are still borrowing more than $1 trillion a year. Barack Obama has added more than $5 trillion to the national debt in his first term alone. Such massive borrowing is unsustainable. Someone somehow at some time has to pay it back.
Obama would agree. He once alleged that George W. Bushs much smaller deficits were irresponsible and unpatriotic. Obama himself vowed to cut the budget deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, Obamas annual deficits have never gone below $1 trillion.
Three ways to establish a long-term trajectory toward a balanced budget were under discussion. One was to adopt the proposals of the nonpartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, appointed by Obama. The commission offered a balanced mix of tax reform and greater revenues, along with cuts in federal spending. But the president was not interested. The commissions findings now seem stale just two years after they were issued.
Another way would have been to adopt the Bill ClintonNewt Gingrich compromise formula of the 1990s that balanced the budget through a series of across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts. But while the administration talked grandly of a return to higher Clinton-era tax rates, it never mentioned the necessary second half of the old equation Clinton-era spending cuts. That balanced solution is dead, too.
Finally, we could have just enacted the income-tax rates of the Clinton era now and worked on the spending cuts later. But the administration did not wish to take that third approach either. Instead, it prefers returning to Clinton-era rates only for those who make more than $250,000 a year, while leaving the lower Bush-era income-tax rates once soundly ridiculed on all other Americans.
The problem is that such a soak-the-rich move would give the Treasury only about $80 billion a year in new revenue about 7 to 8 percent of the money needed to make up for the massive annual borrowing. Even with proposed accompanying tax hikes on capital gains and larger estates, we still would fall hundreds of billions of dollars short. There simply are not enough affluent sheep who make more than $250,000 to shear.
Spending is the real problem, but it goes largely unaddressed. Obamas first-term borrowing of $5 trillion was, in part, designed to stimulate the dormant economy while expanding entitlements to those suffering from the recession. But despite the addition of millions of Americans to those who already were receiving unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or food stamps, and despite massive loans to green industries, the unemployment rate and GDP growth are about where they were four years and $5 trillion ago.
Now the president wants another $50 billion in new borrowing. But why would borrowing another $50 billion jump-start the sluggish economy when 100 times that figure in deficit spending so far has not?
Pay your fair share was a winning Obama campaign theme given that nearly half of all Americans do not pay any federal income tax and receive some sort of federal or state entitlement. Yet if the targeted 5 percent of American taxpayers already pay almost 60 percent of all federal-income-tax revenues, what would the president consider their proper fair share 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent, or 100 percent?
We are now entering a rare, revolutionary period in American history. The present administration is not just reexamining the traditional physics of taxing and spending, but the very basis by which Americans are compensated in the workplace.
For Obama, it is inherently unfair that a few a surgeon, a small-business woman, an investor, or a Lotto winner should make so much. Thus it is the governments obligation, along with state and local governments, to take much of it away from the suspect few and redistribute it to far more deserving others.
All the old criteria in a free-market economy that decide how much we are able to make education levels, hard work, personal responsibility, particular tastes and values, skill sets, self-discipline, or even sheer luck, accidents, relative health, or inheritance now matter far less.
Instead, Obamas all-knowing, all-powerful federal government, through higher taxes, more spending, and greater deficits, will set right what the unfair marketplace has so skewed. At last, we learn what Obama really meant when, in unguarded moments, he sermonized about redistributive change, the need to spread the wealth, knowing the proper time not to profit, and at a certain point making too much money.
Do we need to heed any longer the ancient advice scrimp to leave something behind for your kids; try to get a promotion; make sure your savings account is larger than what you owe if some inequality results?
There is now only one commandment in the new Kingdom of Fairness: Make less than $250,000, and the government will ensure that you, the deserving, get your fair share; make more than that, and the government will demand that you, the undeserving, pay your fair share.
That is all ye need know.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta
Obama will be remembered as a good propagandist. No accomplishments other than to rouse ignorant people into a frenzied and destructive envy.
If you want a pretty yard, hire a landscaper. If you want economic turmoil, race baiting, and system collapse, hire a community organizer.
It seems obvious to us, just purely mathematically, that taxation can’t pay down our debt. If for no other reason at some point people won’t pay them. They’ll avoid and evade, go offshore, go off the books, dug holes in the backyard, retire early, and shrug. If they didn’t the effect of taxation would be to depress the economy, and that defeats its own purpose.
But they think differently. The money is out there, they reason. They’ve seen rich people. They are them, and they hang out with them. They’ve seen their yachts and ponies and golden toilets. That stuff could just as easily be in the treasury. That should be in the treasury, by rights. Sitting in richies’ bathrooms is not its optimal social outlet. People are starving while you’re sitting on gold!
Now, that’s merely how they sell it. Conspicuous consumption is conspicuously gauche. Most of the money, however, is in the middle class,. Because that’s the most populous class. And theirs is not the optimal outlet, either. It should be spent on green energy, useless higher education, and free healthcare.
You see, it’s all wrong, the whole thing. We are not spending the money they’ve so far let us keep the way they want. There is no optimal gubmint spending as share if GDP. There is only optimal spending, whatever its share is. They know better than you how to spend the money, and don’t bother them with any guff about spending being tied to earning. From each according to...you get the idea.
Then of course there’s the
Then of course there’s the multiplier effect. They think not only is wealth better spent on what they wish, but the very fact that the government spends it magically makes it more...um...spenderful. That is, it multiplies return. So, yes, they are stupid.
VDH is brilliant and I look forward to his articles, but he’s falling for the trap. Obama isn’t a socialist. He isn’t somebody motivated by the desire to help the lower class. He’ll let you think that. He’ll even let you think that he might be a socialist. This is just part of the misdirection in THE DEMOCRAT CON GAME. Obama is a Shill. His job is to distract you while the Grifter runs the con.
Good - he can start with those rich Hollyweird actors/entertainers and TV talk shows (Letterman, Leno, etc) people.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
It’s a ridiculous game, but probably what the Republicans should do is demand that the 39.6% rate be applied to a new tax bracket for those making over $1 million. That way Obama could really “sock it to the rich” (the “real” rich), yet it would have very little real world effect on anything.
Folks, the man is enacting reparations while the country debated Big effing Bird.