The top 2 percent, the filthy rich who got all those Bush tax breaks, say Democrats. But the top 5 percent of income earners already pay 60 percent of U.S. income taxes, while the bottom 40 percent pays nothing.
Those paying a federal tax rate of 35 percent will see it rise to near 40 percent and will lose a fifth of the value of their deductions for taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
Yet, two-thirds of small businesses are taxed at the same rate as individuals. Consider what this means to the owner of a restaurant and bar in Los Angeles open from noon to midnight, where a husband and wife each put in 80 hours a week.
At year's end, the couple finds they have actually made a profit of $500,000 that they can take home in salary.
What is the Obama-Schwarzenegger tax take on that salary?
Their U.S. tax rate will have hit 39.6 percent.
Their California income tax will have hit 9.55 percent.
Medicare payroll taxes on the proprietor as both employer and salaried employee will be $14,500. Social Security payroll taxes for the proprietor as both employer and employee will be $13,243.
In short, U.S. and state income and payroll taxes will consume half of all the pair earned for some 8,000 hours of work.
From that ravaged salary they must pay a state sales tax of 8.25 percent, gas taxes for the 50-mile commute, and tens of thousands in property taxes on both their restaurant and home. And, after being pilloried by politicians for having feasted in the Bush era, they are now told the tax deduction they get for contributing to the church is to be cut 20 percent, while millions of Obama voters, who paid no U.S. income tax at all, will be getting a tax cut -- i.e., a fat little check -- in April.
Any wonder native-born Californians are fleeing the Golden Land?
Markets are not infallible. But the stock market has long been a "lead indicator" of where the economy will be six months from now. What are the markets, the collective decisions of millions of investors, saying?
Having fallen every month since Obama's election, with January and February the worst two months in history, they are telling us the stimulus package will not work, that Tim Geithner is clueless about how to save the banks, that the Obama budget portends disaster for the republic.
The president says he is gearing up for a fight on his budget.
Good. Let's give him one.