A question for the rich: if President Obama successfully breaks the backs of the working middle class, is that really good for you?
And how about this: if over half of your fellow Americans pay no income taxes and are quite happy to have you foot the bill for our wasteful bloated government, will that be good for your portfolios– or anybody else’s?
We’re less than seven months away from selecting either four more years of Barack Obama, or a new President named Mitt. At this point President Obama isn’t running on his track record, so much as he is running against his own characterizations of Congress and his Republican presidential opponent. But is that the stuff that leadership is made of?
The President portrays the Congress as though it is inept and obstructionist. Despite his own party’s control of the entire U.S. Senate, “Congress” is preventing further progress, Mr. Obama tells us, and it is threatening the hope and change that he has already created.
As for Mitt Romney– well, he’s a creature of wealth and privilege, according to President Obama, a man defined by his greed. Ivy League law school grad’s Barack and Michelle understand the struggle of the middle class, but Mitt and Ann are incapable.
But look who’s funding the President’s campaign – overwhelmingly it’s the richest among us. According to a New York Times report last year, Obama’s top donors included many Silicon Valley executives, hedge fund managers, entertainment executives, and former supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Today the President’s campaign is aggressively seeking low-dollar donors, soliciting contributions as little as $3.00 and raffling “dinner with the President” opportunities. Yet his financial support among middle and lower income Americans is miniscule, while wealthy Americans who are willing to pay up to $40,000.00 for dinner and a photo continue to flock to his side. Yes, there’s been a slowdown in the big-dollar donations, as the headlines indicate, but Barack Obama is still the presidential candidate of choice for rich folks.
And why? Are wealthy Americans so easily charmed by the thrill of “hanging” with a U.S. President that they’re ambivalent to the agenda they’re funding? And what part of the Obama agenda do rich people believe is strengthening our country – or even their own personal fortunes?
Consider the recent unemployment data. Thus far this year the U.S. Department of Labor has issued 14 reports on unemployment benefits claims, and 14 times the Department of Labor has revised the number upward, after the initial report was released. The Obama Administration grabs headlines with what appears to be a decrease in government benefits, then after the fact reports that the dependency is increasing. Is this what attracts the rich folks?
And how about the sharp decline in the number of people who are actually trying to work? The labor pool is shrinking (not just the number of available jobs) and the President’s solution to the problem is clear: more “free” services for the lower and middle class, and higher taxes for the rich. But is this our pathway to prosperity?
Reports about fewer people wanting to work have been dismissed as “right wing spin.” Yet it was none other than the Congressional Budget Office that predicted this phenomenon, after the Obamacare bill was signed in to law.
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, predicted 2 years ago that, given the generous enhancements to Medicaid and the supposed “universal coverage” of Obamacare, lots of us would simply choose to no longer work for a living.
Elemendorf said as much at a little noted conference in October of 2010, held at the University of Southern California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Nobody paid much attention to him then, but it appears now that what he predicted then is now beginning to happen.
Less productivity and higher taxes on the rich – what part of this spells “success” for rich folks? 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.