Donald Lambro

This was the same imperious tone that he used in his recent address to a joint session of Congress on his latest $447 billion jobs plan, virtually ordering lawmakers to pass his jobs bill "immediately."

Such is the naivete of a former freshman senator who spent little time, if any, learning the political complexities of the legislative process before he threw himself completely into a national book-promotion speaking tour that grew into a presidential campaign.

Does Obama really think scolding is a form of presidential leadership? That you can order Congress to pass a nearly half-trillion-dollar jobs bill, even after his first $800 billion jobs plan turned out to be a costly failure?

This week he was on a frenzied, fence-mending tour to re-energize his deflated liberal base, attacking Republicans -- with a straight face -- for playing politics with the nation's economy.

That means playing the political class warfare game to the hilt by peddling the Democrats' favorite myth -- that millionaires and billionaires are taxed at a lower rate than nurses, teachers, secretaries, even janitors. It's a preposterous claim with no basis in fact, but these are desperate times that call for desperate politics.

In fact, if you ask the IRS if this is true, it will tell you that people with adjusted gross incomes of more than $1 million paid an average of 23.3 percent in income taxes in 2008, while those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 8.9 percent. Half of all taxpayers paid no federal income taxes.

Wealthier people like billionaire Warren Buffett may pay a lower tax rate on personal income than others in lower income brackets because much of it comes from dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent. But many ordinary Americans who are by no means rich, particularly retirees, also pay the same rate from stocks they bought over a lifetime of work.

However, Obama's tax collectors wouldn't go after just wealthy Americans, but also every small-business employer who makes more than $200,000 a year. These are the job creators of our economy. Raise taxes on them, and we will get even fewer jobs than we're getting now.

Obama says his soak the rich proposals are all about fairness and math, but the Congressional Budget Office says the wealthiest 10 percent of income earners pay more than half of all federal income taxes.

The American people aren't fooled by Obama's new math. When Gallup asked voters last week to compare Obama's job performance with George W. Bush's, 34 percent said he was worse than Bush, and 22 percent said there was no difference between the two.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.



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