Peter Ferrara

If you work hard, play by the rules, save your money, create jobs, and make a success out of yourself, President Obama and the Democrat party will plunder everything you have worked so hard for, because in their view that is only fair.

That is the meaning of the policies President Obama is espousing as he campaigns for re-election around the country this week. As Mark Steyn has explained, there is no bill yet that the President is demanding Congress pass, it won't create any jobs, and there is no money to pay for it. It is just a traveling road show, and we need to start to hold accountable our relatives, friends and neighbors who would fall for it, and thereby darkly threaten the entire future of America.

Calculated Deception

Campaigning for re-election on Monday, President Obama said,

Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher tax rates than millionaires and billionaires. That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that. Warren Buffet's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it. It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million. Anybody who says we can't change the tax code to correct that.... They should have to defend that unfairness -- explain why somebody who's making $50 million a year in the financial markets should be paying 15 percent on their taxes, when a teacher making $50,000 a year is paying more than that -- paying a higher rate. They ought to have to answer for it.

Let me educate you, Mr. President, even though I am quite certain you are not interested in hearing any answer that contradicts your committed religious beliefs. But the truth is that the unfairness you discuss is a fantasy. The facts are just the opposite.

Even before you were elected, Mr. Obama, under the tax policies adopted by President Reagan, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the much vilified President George W. Bush, official IRS data for 2007 showed that the top 1 percent of income earners paid more in federal income taxes than the bottom 95 percent combined! The top 1 percent of income earners that year earned 22 percent of income but paid 40.4 percent of total income taxes. When Reagan became President, the top 1 percent paid 17.4 percent of income taxes, as I note in my recent book, America's Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb. As Jack Kemp used to say, if you want to soak the rich, cut tax rates. Moreover, the bottom 40 percent plus of income earners now pay no federal income tax on net as a group.


Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is General Counsel for the American Civil Rights Union, a Senior Fellow at the Carleson Center for Public Policy and a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.