Larry Elder

A matter of "neighborliness." That's how Democratic presidential aspirant Barack Obama justified raising taxes.

Obama compared the circumstances of a person who is "sitting pretty" with that of a waitress. The waitress struggles, said Obama, while the rich can, and should, pay more. Nothing more, really, than a standard soak-the-rich plan, redistributing the wealth from the haves to the have-nots. But does Obama practice his own "neighborliness"?

When Obama and his wife earned between $200,000 and $300,000 annually from 2000 through 2004, they donated less than 1 percent to charity. As a result of the sales from Obama's two books, he and Michelle earned as much as $4 million per year the past couple of years. Then the Obamas' charitable contributions went up to 5 percent.

Let's turn to Iraq. Obama grudgingly concedes that the surge worked "beyond our wildest dreams." But he points out an "underlying problem." What "underlying problem"? Obama accuses the Iraqi government of failing to attain "political reconciliation," insisting that the government refuses to "take responsibility." Really?

Of the 18 so-called Iraqi government benchmarks demanded by Congress, the Iraqi government has met or is close to meeting nearly all of them. Of the 18 provinces in Iraq, the Iraqi military and police now control 11 of them. Gen. David Petraeus, the region's commander, recently said that by next summer, he expects the Iraqis to take over control of Baghdad. In July, there were six American combat-related deaths, down from 66 last July.

Let's turn to the economy and Bush's allegedly failed economic policies. Under President Bush, the economic pie grew. Tax receipts grew by 20 percent, to the highest level in our nation's history. And remember, Bush inherited an economy going into a recession. On Sept. 11, 2001, America suffered the worst attack on its soil in its history. Spending increased for Homeland Security and the war in Iraq. And of the current economic sluggishness, most can be attributed to the slump in housing. Does anybody, except for the most ardent Bush-hater, blame the President for the housing downturn? Following 9/11, polls showed that Americans overwhelmingly expected another attack within six months to a year. We have not had another attack on American soil in the seven years since 9/11.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit