It's probably poor form to piggyback onto another columnist's work, but Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger's disturbing discoveries about President Barack Obama's budget summary justify an exception. Those not blinded by the Obama cult fog have produced abundant evidence of Obama's grudge against capitalism, but Henninger's revelations are hard to top.
Despite Obama's later denials, he was most serious when he cavalierly told Joe the Plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around." We've seen it born out in his policies so far and in the promises of those to come.
He will restore the Clinton tax hikes on higher-income earners, but there is so much more. He'll reduce the effective charitable gift deduction, thus reducing charitable giving. This is no surprise, though, because he believes "charity" is the province of government -- not the private sector.
He'll impose a cap and trade tax on corporations under the pretense of making them "greener," raise the tax rates on capital gains and dividends, reverse welfare reform, and nationalize health care.
He'll eliminate the ceiling on payroll tax contributions, which is presently about $110,000. This will be a major hit to those earning more than $110,000, not that Obama cultists will have any sympathy for those greedy beneficiaries of life's lottery, to borrow from the Al Gore vernacular.
Some might argue that this is only fair because the entire income of lower-income earners is subject to that tax. But to make that argument surrenders any illusion that this tax funds Social Security. If you eliminate the ceiling, higher-income earners will pay exorbitant amounts into a mythical fund (it's never been segregated from general revenue) with no expectation of getting appreciably more back on retirement. Fairness? Only if you believe the wealthy should be punished.
Funny you should mention that, because it's precisely what our president appears to believe, which brings me back to Henninger, who took the trouble to read the president's budget summary for lay readers, "A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise."
Henninger directs us to a chart on Page 11, crafted by French economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez ("rock stars of the intellectual left"), which purports to show that beginning with the Reagan era, the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States have received an increasing share of the national income pie.