Dividing the nation to unify the base
One has to wonder just how much more Democrats will milk class-warfare politics before people wake up to their deception. No matter what economic problems we face, Democrats always find a way to blame them on the “rich” and the Bush tax cuts. Why? Because it rallies their base and — they hope — will alienate enough others against evil Bush Republicans to give Democrats a prohibitive advantage on domestic issues.
Joe Biden even blamed the current mortgage crisis on the Bush tax cuts. He said: “We should try to correct the problems that caused this [. . .] (which are) the profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John (McCain) wants to continue.”
Never mind that low- and middle-income earners received greater tax rate reductions than the highest-income earners; that doesn’t fit within the Democrats’ class-envy template. Forget the reckless legislation forcing financial institutions to lend money to people who probably couldn’t pay it back — to satisfy the liberals’ obsession with looking compassionate and pandering to minorities. Forget that Barack Obama was the second-highest recipient of campaign cash from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (according to the Center for Responsive Politics), cash aimed at keeping congressional regulators off their backs. Forget that big fat cat Democrats served in executive positions at these quasi- governmental entities and milked them at taxpayers’ expense. Forget that Mr. Obama chose one of those fat cats, Jim Johnson, to serve on his vice presidential search committee.
Despite the Democrats’ destructive practice of blaming every economic woe — from Enron to rising oil prices — on the Bush tax cuts, the tax cuts had nothing to do with those problems, including the mortgage crisis.
Messrs. Obama and Biden talk incessantly about unifying us yet employ divisive class-envy tactics to demonize and alienate major producers in this country. They have to know, unless they are self-brainwashed into sheer functional incompetence, that they are lying and dividing the people they’ve promised to bring together.
Notwithstanding the obvious lack of practical or logical connection between the Bush tax cuts and the mortgage crisis, let’s still examine the Democrats’ demagogic claim that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. By any measure, it is a staggering hoax.
Stephen Moore reported in December 2007 that the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 37 percent of all income taxes. That is more than they were paying before the Bush tax cuts and way more than they would have paid had the Bush tax cuts not been enacted. The Treasury Department estimates that had the cuts not gone into effect, the top 1 percent would have paid 31 percent. Thus, the wealthy, while paying lower marginal rates, are paying a greater percentage of the taxes, just as those dastardly supply-siders predicted. The top 10 percent, by the way, are paying 68 percent under the cuts, while Treasury estimates that they would have paid 63 percent without the cuts.
How about the top 5 percent — the group particularly targeted for punishment by Messrs. Obama and Biden? Remember, their plan is to lower taxes for 95 percent.
Currently, the top 5 percent is paying 57 percent of all income taxes. If only 5 percent paying 57 percent is not enough, can you tell me what would be, especially when you consider that the bottom 50 percent of income earners pay less than 4 percent of all income taxes?
If Mr. Obama is going to cut taxes for 95 percent, how much will he have to raise taxes on the other 5 percent just to compensate for the lost revenue from the 95 percent? A supply-sider might say, “Not much at all because reducing marginal rates (to a point) increases revenues.” But anti-supply-siders such as Mr. Obama can’t say that without exposing themselves to further fraud. They dispute the premise.
Espousing a zero-sum analysis on tax rates and revenue, they believe that tax cuts necessarily reduce revenues. Thus, they owe us an explanation as to how much more the top 5 percent will have to pay just to have a net zero effect on revenues. And how much more than that to yield a net increase in revenues?
But even if Mr. Obama could achieve a net revenue increase under his plan, he still must explain how increased revenue would have prevented or alleviated the mortgage crisis. And, Sen. Obama, please don’t give us some convoluted nonsense about deficit reductions being a panacea, because no matter how harmful deficits might be, they had nothing to do with this mortgage crisis.
The crisis has largely been caused by reckless liberal dogoodism and corruption, not Bush tax policy.
Regardless, these inconvenient truths won’t keep Mr. Obama from scapegoating the Bush tax cuts because this isn’t about changing policies to strengthen the economy; it’s about stoking the fires of class envy to divide and alienate Americans — under the crass Machiavellian calculation that there are far more non-wealthy voters than wealthy ones.
David Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated columnist.