Rachel Alexander

Obama wants toincrease taxes on the top three percent, but they already pay more in taxes than the bottom 97 percent. The top one-tenth of the top one percent of income earners pay 17 percent of all income taxes but earn only eight percent of all income. Households making more than $1 million in income pay a whopping 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes. Middle class households making $50,000 - $75,000 pay only 15% of their income in federal taxes.

Obama wants to raise the top marginal rate on the wealthy from 35 to 39 percent, and is considering a surtax on families making more than $1 million a year, which would push that rate above 40 percent. He has decided this rhetoric is his ticket to getting reelected and will not stop touting it. He is expected to call for higher taxes on millionaires this week by implementing the “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The Buffett Rule will require those with incomes above one million to pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent, prohibiting them from sheltering their income elsewhere or taking deductions. These are just a few of the seven ways Obama wants to increase taxes on the wealthy.

Although Obama frequently touts the so-called “separation of church and state,” he declared in February that Jesus would support increasing taxes on the rich. He explained to an audience at the National Prayer Breakfast, "For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required," quoting the Gospel of Luke. The problem with Obama’s claim is that Jesus would never heavy-handedly force people to contribute money. Jesus might scold them, but he would never instruct the government to take money from others. In fact, Jesus indicated he considered tax collectors comparable to prostitutes and other sinners, although he went out of his way to treat them fairly and included one as a disciple.

Obama says that everyone should pay their “fair share.” But what he considers a “fair share” for high income earners will only increase their bankruptcies. In 2009, the number of wealthy people filing for Chapter 11 business bankruptcy increased by a whopping 73 percent. Taxes are a significant reason why businesses file bankruptcy, and many wealthy Americans are filing personal bankruptcy due to losing their jobs. Increasing taxes on the rapidly declining number of millionaires will not fix the deficit. The math does not work. As taxes are increased, the number of millionaires will decrease even faster, so revenues will not be as high as projected.

The Bush tax cuts, which lowered the tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 15 percent for families making more than $250,000, are due to expire at the end of this year. Although Obama signed off on a two year extension in 2010, he says he will not extend them again this year. If he does not, the economy will continue its downward spiral.

Obama is trying to change Americans’ attitudes from one of optimism that they too, like Horatio Alger, can someday earn more money. He would rather Americans despair and harbor resentment against anyone who makes more money than them. This self-defeating attitude does nothing to improve the country’s economic situation but pits neighbor against neighbor. There is a reason for his class warfare; by promising Americans the impossible, he buys their vote. Americans have short memories when it comes to politics and Obama is the master at slick revisionist speeches, so many Americans will not realize later that they have been sold a bill of goods.

 

Removing barriers to create more millionaires will fix the deficit as well as create more jobs and revive the economy. That is hope. Pessimism about others who make more money than you is nothing more than jealousy. How sad that we have a president whose campaign strategy to win reelection is to foment jealousy among voters.


Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.