Di­vid­ing the na­tion to unify the base

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - David Lim­baugh

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.

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