What are “rich” Americans thinking?
As President Obama ramps-up his re-election bid, we’re hearing more than ever before about all the things he wants to give to our “children and grandchildren,” and the “middle class.”
His policies are actually an anathema to the middle class – at least to those of us middle class folks who don’t hold a unionized government job, and who actually want to be self-sufficient and to live independently – but the presidential offerings of “help” keep on coming.
In the midst of this, the high-dollar donations keep rolling in to the Obama campaign from the highest of income earners. And this raises an important question for rich folks: if President Obama successfully breaks the backs of the working middle class, is that really good for you?
By every indication, the President plans to portray the eventual Republican presidential nominee as a creature of wealth and privilege. He successfully did this to John McCain in the last presidential election cycle, and if Mitt Romney is the President’s opponent this year it won’t be difficult to pull-off a repeat performance.
Yet in reality Barack Obama’s campaign is funded overwhelmingly by the richest among us. According to a New York Times report last year, among these donors are included many Silicon Valley executives, hedge fund managers, entertainment executives, homosexual rights activists, and former supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The President’s campaign has been conducting an aggressive outreach to low-dollar donors, soliciting contributions as little as $3.00 and raffling “dinner with the President” opportunities. Yet his support among middle and lower income Americans has mostly been declining, while wealthy Americans have flocked to his side.
So, why? Are wealthy Americans so easily charmed by the idea of rubbing shoulders with a U.S. President at a fundraiser, that they're thinking nothing of funding an agenda that is undermining the nation? And what part of the Obama agenda do rich people believe is strengthening our country – or even their own personal fortunes?
Consider last week’s unemployment numbers. A slight decline in the unemployment rate seems great; until you consider that the labor pool is declining. And why would the number of willing workers be dropping? It may very well have to do with the generous federal entitlements provided in the new “Obamacare” law.
According to none other than the Congressional Budget Office, many of us have decided we no longer have to work as much as we once did, given all the “assistance” we can get via Obamacare.
This is not just political “spin” or partisan punditry. It comes directly from Douglas Elmendorf, the Director of the non-partisan C.B.O., a federal agency within the legislative branch of our government that employs people to analyze government policies, and consider their impact on the federal budget, and on the economy. The C.B.O. likely produces some of the most objective, “fair,” and non-politicized data that we receive from our government.
Speaking in 2010 at the University of Southern California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, Mr. Elmendorf noted that, outside the healthcare sector of our economy, the greatest impact of the Obamacare agenda would be in the labor market. It was October 22nd, just days away from the big midterm election, and Elmendorf’s presence at this conference, and his remarks at the conference, did not receive nearly the amount of press attention that they deserved.
Mr. Elmendorf stated that, in some cases, Americans will simply choose not to work, because their needs for healthcare will be provided by the enhanced Medicaid funding that is provided for in the Obamacare law.
Might it be the case that we’re now beginning to see what the C.B.O. director predicted over a year ago? And is less work and more government dependency good for America – even for the rich person’s America?
It’s perplexing that there aren’t more wealthy Americans like Steve Wynn, the successful C.E.O. of the publicly traded Wynn Resorts, Ltd. Last July, Wynn caught national attention for daring to disagree with the President’s agenda.
The headlines at the time stated “Wynn Slams Obama On Business,” but if you had read or listened to any of Wynn’s actual remarks at the time, you would have concluded to that there really wasn’t much of any “slamming” going on.
More accurately, Wynn’s comments seemed very accurate, rational and fair – as if he was simply stating the obvious.
Speaking with a calm tone during a corporate conference call with his associates, Wynn said, among other things: “… This administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime…my customers… are frightened of this administration… Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America…those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don't want to say that. They'll say, God, don't be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama's deal and it's Obama that's responsible for this fear in America…”
More government entitlements and less productivity. Is this good for rich Americans? Is it good for anyone?
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.