Buck Ofama

Henninger on President Obama

Obama.2008 was engaging, patient, open, optimistic and a self-identified conciliator.
Obama.2011 has been something else—testy, petulant, impatient, arrogant and increasingly a divider.

A divider because if you’re conservative, you have a vision of America that Obama doesn’t recognize. His America has high speed rail, and 50% of it’s population paying no taxes. His America funds every social welfare program, while “the rich” work as busy little beavers, happy to hand over 50% of their income to the government.

And the White House?

“You know the Oval Office always thought I was going to have like real cool phones and stuff. I’m like ‘come on guys, I’m the president of the United States.’ Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff, and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”

It doesn’t happen yet.

In Obama’s America, millionaires and billionaires are those making over $250,000. Apparently math works differently in his vision. Victor Davis Hanson:

Obama never distinguishes between the super-rich and the well-off. At one point, the president scoffed, “I don’t need another tax cut; Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut.”

And, those making over $250,000 don’t need another tax cut, according to Obama, because they’re “rich”. They need to pay their fair share.

The rich and the poor are not separated across an impenetrable barrier. The president’s $250,000 line in the sand is actually quite fluid. Most of those who make incomes above it did not do so ten years ago — and they won’t, on average, 10 years hence. The income of well-off professionals and small-business people fluctuates widely as they ascend, peak, and descend in earnings — given factors such as health, age, and uncertainty in employment and business. It would be more accurate to say that raising taxes on the better-off is a sort of punishment for those who break into the top brackets for a few short years and try to be careful to save what they make and not spend what they don’t.

But, the president says they “owe” it to a society that has enabled them to earn that much, unwilling to recognize the difference between those who do well, perhaps for only a few years, and the Zuckerbergs and Buffets.

But Warren Buffett, unlike the building contractor or family dentist, is the world’s third-richest man, worth nearly $50 billion. And Obama is probably the most privileged person on the planet, with all of his expenses covered — from a nice free mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to a huge private jet.

Would Obama have agreed to have his taxes raised before he became president? When his wife had a fat salary doing “community outreach” for that hospital in Chicago?

So before raising taxes, the president might first urge the super-rich to pay their taxes at the income-tax, rather than the capital-gains-tax, rate. Next, he could remind his own Cabinet officers to pay all the taxes they owe. Then, he should offer to pay more of the first family’s costs when they jet to luxury spots such as Martha’s Vineyard, Costa del Sol, or Vail. And finally, he might ask the nearly 50 percent of Americans who now pay no income tax to pay at least 5 percent of their income in federal taxes — to ensure that they see their government as a taker as well as a giver.

This is all very silly, though, and nothing more than campaign class warfare.

“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama offered a dire description of the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He said it would reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy by cutting funds to clean energy programs and transportation.

Erm, not so fast. I wouldn’t count on a fair accounting of the Ryan plan by Obama Some Fact Checking here.

# He falsely claimed that making the Bush tax cuts permanent would give away “$1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire.” That figure — which is actually $807 billion over 10 years — refers to tax cuts for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000, not just millionaires and billionaires.

As for folks paying their fair share?

That says it all. How could the wealthier among us pay any more of the burden?

Yes, Obama does have a completely different vision of America.

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8 Comments on “Buck Ofama”

  1. roamy Says:


  2. MJ Says:

    Damn. Rocket chick beat me to it.

    I still think taxes are going up for those making 100k. To a leech 100k looks like ‘rich’ as well. The idea has been bubbling up lately.

  3. Car in Says:

    Oh definitely. As VDH says, he says “millionaires and billionaires” in his speeches, but when you get down to the numbers that is NOT who he means.

    Basically, he’s going to raise takes on those who pay taxes.

    Otherwise, we’re putting the burden on the backs of the poor.

  4. Obama’s characterization of Ryan’s plan as “radical, but not particularly courageous” was stunning in its mendacity, even for him. Just when I think the Liar In Chief can’t surprise me, he does it again.

  5. Svenster Says:

    How could the wealthy pay more of the tax burden? By paying a tax on wealth not just current income—all those tax deferred 401Ks and IRAs are ripe for the taxing. That’s where the money is and where I think Obama would like to go.

  6. Car in Says:

    And that would be criminal.

  7. B. Moe Says:

    When a politician gets, oh, say something like $38.5k a plate at a fundraiser, is any of that taxable income?

  8. Car in Says:

    Interesting question:

    First thing I found From MSN Money:

    Campaign contributions. These contributions are not income to a candidate unless they are diverted to his or her personal use. (Think $400 haircuts or $150,000 wardrobes.) To be exempt from tax, the contributions must be spent for campaign purposes or kept in a fund for use in future campaigns. However, interest earned on bank deposits, dividends received on contributed securities and net gains realized on sales of contributed securities are taxable and must be reported on Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations (.pdf file). Excess campaign funds transferred to an office account must be included in the officeholder’s income on Form 1040, line 21, in the year transferred.

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