Erika Johnsen

While speaking recently about the communist government in China, Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats -- an Obama appointee -- praised China's decision to spur economic growth by lowering taxes. So, at least somebody in the Obama administration definitely understands and embraces the basic lower-taxes-equals-higher-productivity principle of free-market economics, while President Obama himself chooses to neglect that certain principle. I award the administration zero points for consistency on this one:

“China lowered taxes very recently, which will help increase demand, but it’s also good to boost consumption in China,” said Hormats. “So I think what’s interesting is that—sure, there are issues with China that I’ve mentioned--but I think a lot of the reform procedures that are going on in China are consistent with the kind of things that we think will be good for China and for the global system.”

Meanwhile, in a speech in Vermont on Friday, President Barack Obama argued that it was "basic math" that taxes needed to be increased on wealthy Americans so the government could provide more to the poor.

“But if you’re making more than $1 million a year, you can do a little more,” Obama said. “This is not class envy. This is not class warfare. This is basic math--that’s what this is.

“Look, if somebody like me gets a tax break that they don’t need and that the country can’t afford, then one of two things are going to happen--either it adds to our deficit, or we’re taking something away from somebody else,” said Obama.

“Look, there’s no way of getting around that,” said Obama. “Either folks like me are doing more, or somebody who can’t afford it is getting less. And that’s not right.”

Wow. Those are among the most distasteful comments I've ever known President Obama to utter -- and that's saying something. He keeps trying to disclaim his basic point -- "this is not class warfare" -- but that's exactly what this is. The lecturer-in-chief is trying to make the case that if you sit above a certain arbitrary income level (apparently, $1 million a year is the magic number), you are actually depriving somebody else of that income. As if there is a finite supply of prosperity to be had, and there's only a certain amount available to go around. As if people don't create wealth, but rather just hoard money. Honestly, what does he think "the rich" do with their income above a million dollars? Eat it? As if privately held money isn't put to a productive, well-allocated use that contributes to economic growth, which helps everybody. I don't think President Obama really understands the basic term "opportunity cost" -- and it's either straight-up economic malpractice, or something worse.

Republicans and Democrats -- in fact, particularly Democrats -- all agree that a government can (read: can, not should) use taxes to discourage certain behaviors. Why does President Obama want to discourage people from being rich? From working hard, being highly productive, diversifying the economy, and providing a product or service that a lot of people want to buy? Anyone who calls President Obama a practical socialist is often deemed a crazy right-wing extremist, but, sorry folks -- this Robin-Hood mentality is pretty darn socialist, and it's an embarrassment to our country.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.