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A voracious appetite for class warfare

A voracious appetite for class warfare

Obama once again is moving hard on the class warfare, and there is every signal that setting up a fight between the “rich” and “not rich” is the Democratic campaign theme for 2012.

Obama keeps claiming the “rich” do not pay their fair share, but the numbers prove otherwise, as laid out in this analysis by The Tax Foundation (via @JohnCornyn):

  • Recently released IRS data for 2009, shows that taxpayers earning over $200,000 paid 50 percent of the $866 billion in total income taxes paid that year, or $434 billion. Skeptics will say, “That’s because they earn the majority of the income in America. Not so. These taxpayers earned 25 percent of the $7.6 trillion in total adjusted gross income in the country that year.
  • The 2009 IRS data also shows that a record 58.6 million tax filers had no income tax liability that year. This means that 42 percent of the 140 million Americans who filed tax returns that year contributed nothing to the basic cost of government.
  • Millions of people received cash “refunds” in 2009 even though they paid no income taxes: Some 21 million nonpayers received $27.5 billion in refundable credits from the child credit; Obama’s Making Work Pay program gave out $12.8 billion in refundable credits to 32 million filers; The Earned Income Tax Credit program doled out $54 billion in refundable credits to 24.9 million filers; and, nearly 5 million filers received $3.9 billion in refundable Education Credits and roughly 1 million filers got $4.65 billion in refundable credits under the First Time Homebuyers credit program.

It’s never enough. The Democrats’ appetite for spending and class warfare never will be satisfied, so no wonder it is their campaign theme.


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What gets me is the Dems act as though the system is completely static … as though people earning over $200,000 have always earned over that amount and always will. Ask some small business people if they’ve never had lean years or years in the red.

My father, a small businessman, even in his early eighties, before he lost the ability to walk, was still getting up at 4:00 a.m. and working 12-hour days, six days a week!

A lot of these “rich” people are breaking their asses trying to get/stay ahead.

LukeHandCool (who thinks this culture needs more Horatio Algers and fewer class-warfare demagogues).

So for $7.6 trillion in total adjusted gross income there was only $866 billion in total income taxes taken in? Someone care to elucidate that for me?

As a statement of policy, the assertion that the rich should have to pay their fair share is utterly inane. EVERYONE should have to pay their fair share. The question is, what is fair? Obama whines about how our politics is “broken,” yet he continually engages is this kind of rhetorical claptrap, which practically begs any thinking person to tune him out.

I even question the political value of this class-warfare line. When has any U.S. president been elected by ginning up hostilities between the rich and poor? The “Two Americas,” us-vs.-them theme may appeal to a sizeable chunk of the electorate, but nowhere close to 51%.

Everybody, please read this short and insightful piece by Fred Siegel at City Journal, Who Lost the Middle Class?:

Forty years from now, politicians, writers, and historians may struggle to understand how America, once the quintessential middle-class society, became as socially stratified as Europe or even Brazil…

Look, I hope someone takes me seriously. If Obama wants to play this card, we need an effort to take a look at who has gotten wealthier in the last few years & who has “held their own”. The “held their own” will be the public sector employe class. I suspect in the “wealthier” or “better off” class you will find quite a few people that contributed to Obama in 2008.

Looking at this list:

Top Contributors to Barack Obama

University of California $1,648,685
Goldman Sachs $1,013,091
Harvard University $864,654
Microsoft Corp $852,167
Google Inc $814,540
JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799
Citigroup Inc $736,771
Time Warner $624,618
Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
Stanford University $595,716
National Amusements Inc $563,798
Wilmerhale Llp $550,168
Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
Columbia University $541,002
UBS AG $532,674
IBM Corp $532,372
General Electric $529,855
US Government $517,908
Morgan Stanley $512,232
Latham & Watkins $503,295

Take a look at how those companies have fared in the last few years, tie them to Obama, and let the class warfare games begin!

Someone needs to state the income of the 42% who “contributed nothing (in taxes) to government”. Is it so hard to believe that they didn’t make enough above subsistence, in the land of the free.

Republicans need to make the following points in response to such class-warfare rhetoric:

1. High-income people do pay their fair share by any objective measure.
2. Higher tax rates will change taxpayers’ behavior, reducing their taxable income, and yielding much less revenue than expected. The revenue increase resulting from a tax rate hike would be very small compared to the deficit.
3. This group of taxpayers is the one that produces most of the new jobs. Increase their taxes and fewer jobs will be created.
4. Higher tax rates inhibit economic growth.
5. The best way to get more revenue is with a booming economy. For this reason, lower tax rates often result in more revenue, just as sometimes a business can increase its profit by lowering its prices.

Some or all of these points need to be repeated endlessly and defended aggressively when attacked. That’s the only way they will “take”.

Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.

May the Carter comparisons commence.

One of the reasons Dems keep making this silly argument is because the Republicans always fall into the trap of answering it with statistics about how much the rich really pay. No one cares about the stats. The argument will never be won that way.

Here’s what I wish some Republican would say in response to the “Make the rich pay” argument: “You know, if that’s what the people want, Let’s do it. Let’s just confiscate everything over a million that anyone has. That should get us, what, maybe a hundred billion? That will actually solve this country’s growing debt problem for almost a week! THEN what are you gonna do?”

Take a look at this article and you’ll see the extent that he will go to in order to castigate others for actions which he takes himself.

Obama sought to channel the public’s anger in order to avoid being sunk by it himself. He urged the public to tell Washington lawmakers they’d had enough with the bickering and stalemates.

“You’ve got to tell them you’ve had enough of the theatrics, you’ve had enough of the politics, stop sending out press releases. Start passing some bills that we all know will help the economy right now,” he said. “That’s what they need to do. They’ve got to hear from you.”

Here’s an amended version of that second paragraph, containing a few things he obviously forgot to say:

You’ve got to tell them you’ve had enough of the theatrics constant class warfare, you’ve had enough of the politics golf and obscene fund-raising, stop sending out press releases making empty speeches.

PresPalin2012 | August 14, 2011 at 1:32 am

If there is one thing Obama knows, which is the only thing he knows.. it’s how to win against a united front.. the strategy of Karl Marx, V. Lenin, and Saul Alinsky, – Divide and Conquer.. Class Warfare, Race Warfare, or whatever warfare.. this is his trademark signature of battle, and he never stops using it, 24/7..

This is why we must always be on alert, and ever vigilant,- never letting our guard down.. standing firm and resolute, in out united front, and our never ending fight for Truth, Justice, and the American way.. sorry, I got carried away with the old superman show.. it’s Andrew Klaven you know.. he’s rubbing off on me.. anyways, where was I, oh yeah.. against Obama.

[…] Jacobson: A voracious appetite for class warfare […]

A pox on your numbers and statistics proving that X% of all of our tax money was paid by Y% of the people having W% of all of our country’s money.

Here’s what counts amongst the Obamites:

The rich still had money left after we taxed them.

That’s what Michael Moore meant when he said that “our country isn’t broke – the money is just in the wrong hands.”

Equal outcomes, not “fairness”, is the goal. If one family of lazyass project-dwellers is forced to live on $38,000 per year of government benefits, then no one should be left with any more than that.

But, as Obama said, the Constitution is poorly equipped to handle outright redistributionism, and so the struggle is a complex one.

A need for more government revenue is a problem.

That rich people have so much more money than others is NOT merely one factor that needs to be considered in the solution to the revenue problem.

Instead, it is a separate, discrete problem that needs to be addressed notwithstanding any need for tax revenue.

Happily, by setting top tax rates incredibly high, they can solve the “rich people” problem, and also make some progress towards more government revenue.

It’s a two-fer!

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection described the Democrats and Obama as having a voracious appetite for class warfare. I thought that was a great description and that voracious was an excellent choice of […]