Mona Charen

The president doesn't really pretend that raising taxes on the "rich" will make much of a dent in our trillion-dollar deficits or our $16 trillion national debt. Increasing taxes on those earning above $200,000 would raise .07 trillion over the next decade. But the president's own projections foresee $6.4 trillion in new debt over that time period. That's probably a gross underestimate, assuming as it does 4 percent growth in the economy. The Congressional Budget Estimate forecasts $10 trillion in deficits over the same period.

Obama doesn't really pretend, or not very energetically, that raising taxes on "the rich" is a deficit reduction measure. He promotes it as "fairness" and circulates the flatly outrageous fiction that the wealthy pay less than their secretaries. Romney attempted to correct this at the second debate by promising "the top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent of income taxes." A nation in which the top 1 percent earns 23.5 percent of national income but pays 40 percent of income taxes is not suffering from a lack of progressivity.

In 2008, then Senator Obama told Charlie Gibson that he'd support raising the capital gains tax despite the clear evidence that reducing the rate under Clinton had led to increased revenue from the rich to the Treasury. Treasury shmeasury, he just likes to raise taxes.

So Obama wants more of the taxpayers' money. Beyond hiring those teachers, what else would he spend it on? More wind, solar and biofuel energy? Other than making Al Gore a multimillionaire and enriching a few other big Obama donors, what has that investment done for us? The Department of Energy boasts that it has spent $34.7 billion on green technologies, creating nearly 60,000 jobs. Great. Columnist Deroy Murdock did the math: that's $578,333 in taxpayer funds for each job. And those "green" firms propped up by Obama keep going bankrupt. Solyndra, Ener1, Aptera Motors, Beacon Power -- the list goes on. So it's a total loss for the taxpayers. Meanwhile, the price of gasoline approaches $4.00 a gallon.

If you had loaned your adult child $10,000 and he returned a year later asking for another $10,000, you'd want to know how he spent the first tranche, right? You'd want some assurance you weren't sending good money after bad.

It's a reasonable caution in all circumstances.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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