Jonah Goldberg

Liberals will defend Obama's carbon tax by saying it's vitally necessary to combat climate change, end our dependence on foreign oil and boost our embryonic green industries like wind and solar. Fine, fine. We can have that argument, as weak as I think it may be.

But why isn't Obama honest about the fact that he's asking the working poor and middle class to pay even more? He's the guy who talks such a big game about shared sacrifice. He's the one talking about a "new era of responsibility." Heck, that's the title of his proposed budget -- you know, the one that will irresponsibly explode the deficit?

Instead, Obama sticks to his promise that everyone who isn't rich will get a "tax cut." That tax cut, by the way, amounts to $13 dollars more a week for the typical worker, according to the Associated Press. In 2010, that cut will be worth $7.70 a week. Will that cover "skyrocketing" electricity rates? Or higher gas prices? How about higher prices for things that use energy to get manufactured, i.e. everything?

I don't know the answer myself. Maybe $1.85 a day in 2009 and $1.10 in 2010 will cover that. But I doubt it, particularly when your job is outsourced to carbon-tax-free China or India. The point is that Obama's rhetoric about shared sacrifice is bogus on every level.

He tells people they are the upright ones for supporting his policies when what he's actually saying is that he's taking from the rich and giving it to them. "Shared sacrifice" really means taking other people's money, while "greed" is not wanting to give it up and "responsibility" is when the government takes it anyway.

In reality, he's giving with one hand and taking with the other. He's telling the poor he's only soaking the rich, when he's in fact soaking everyone. The amazing thing is that his supporters, rich and poor alike, buy it. No wonder they're the ones they've been waiting for.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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