The President’s rhetoric also implies some bizarre attributes of the wealthy. Apparently in President Obama’s view, wealthy Americans don’t work, don’t live in the context of “working families,” and don’t own small businesses. It suggests that they constitute some idle, slovenly, sub-human life form that poses problems which the government must mitigate (is there any wonder why the wealthy aren’t investing in new business start-ups right now?).
But here is an interesting bit of reality that transcends the political rhetoric: President Obama’s job creation bill seeks to raise income taxes and eliminate charitable tax deductions for individuals earning $200,000 a year, and for households earning $250,000 a year. So where do these two-hundred-thousand a year folks fit in to the “working Americans versus millionaires and billionaires” juxtaposition? They obviously don’t fit in with “working Americans,” the category to which the President has already promised tax cuts.
Are they lumped in with the millionaires and billionaires? Certainly a person earning $200,000 a year could amass a million dollars in savings if they lived frugally and saved lots of money for a sufficient number of years, but simply earning this level of annual income does not instantly make one a millionaire.
And why are the millionaires and billionaires lumped together anyway? According to my non-Ivy League mathematics, one has to earn a million dollars a thousand times in order to have a billion dollars. Being a “millionaire” and a “billionaire” are hardly the same thing.
But never mind the simple math of it all. After spouting his lines about lowering taxes for working Americans and small business owners and raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, President Obama spoke at a fundraiser for his re-election campaign that was held in the private Manhattan home of Jane Hartley, CEO of the Observatory Group LLC, and Ralph Schlosstein, president and CEO of the investment banking firm Evercore Partners Inc.
As you would expect, the President made no reference to his tax increase plans when he spoke to the crowd that paid between $2,500 and $35,800 to see him. But here’s what we don’t know about the President and his audience of rich people: does he suppose that these folks are “working Americans?” Does he consider Ms. Hartley, who heads up an “LLC,” to be a “small business owner?” Does he imagine that any of these people live in “working families?”
Barack Obama’s rhetoric makes for some interesting politics, but it amounts to destructive public policy. And a president who seeks to patronize one section of American society by demonizing another, does a grave disservice to our country.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.