Frank J. Fleming, in the New York Post, explains the thinking of our Rand-villain democrat opponents.
The US unemployment rate has been pretty lousy for a while. Luckily, no one blames President Obama for this, as the recent election showed. And why should they? The government has done everything right: It enacted a huge stimulus, built infrastructure, passed ObamaCare to make sure employees are healthy and it supplied businesses with millions and millions of people just standing around waiting for work.
So if the government has done its part, and there still arenâ€™t enough jobs, then who should we blame? Obviously, itâ€™s the fault of those lazy, good-for-nothing businesses and job creators. …
[W]e canâ€™t let the prospect of job losses keep us from going after businesses owners where it hurts them the most: their companies.
And thatâ€™s the tough line the government needs to take with job creators: You will spit out those jobs we demand â€” and good ones with health-care benefits! â€” or we will destroy you and your businesses.
Raising their taxes by repealing the Bush tax cuts is just the start. We need even more taxes and punishing regulations. We need to treat these people like the scum they are, and if they donâ€™t want to watch their companies burn, theyâ€™ll yield and finally expand their businesses and create more jobs â€” and not make any more profit or get richer when they do that, because we find that highly annoying.
Weâ€™ve had enough of your sickening greed, business owners, so give us everything we want, and give it to us now.
Charles Krauthammer explains the president’s recent tax proposal. This is politics, but it’s not only politics, this is the real Barack Obama.
A most revealing window into our presidentâ€™s political core: To impose a tax that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) is ridiculous. It is nothing but punitive. It benefits no one â€” not the rich, not the poor, not the government. For Obama, however, it brings fairness, which is priceless. …
Obama has actually gone and done it. Heâ€™s just proposed a $1.5 trillion tsunami of tax hikes featuring a â€œBuffett ruleâ€ that, although as yet deliberately still fuzzy, clearly includes raising capital gains taxes.
He also insists again upon raising marginal rates on â€œmillionaireâ€ couples making $250,000 or more. But roughly half the income of small businesses (i.e., those filing individual returns) would be hit by this tax increase. Therefore, if we are to believe Obamaâ€™s own logic that his proposed business tax credits would increase hiring, then surely this tax hike will reduce small-business hiring.
But what are jobs when fairness is at stake? Fairness trumps growth. Fairness trumps revenue. Fairness trumps economic logic.
Obama himself has said that â€œyou donâ€™t raise taxes in a recession.â€ Why then would he risk economic damage when facing reelection? Because these proposals have no chance of being enacted, many of them having been rejected by the Democratic-controlled Congress of Obamaâ€™s first two years in office.
Moreover, this is not an economic, or jobs, or debt-reduction plan in the first place. This is a campaign manifesto. This is anti-millionaire populism as premise for his reelection. And as such, it is already working.
Obamaâ€™s Democratic base is electrified. On the left, the new message is playing to rave reviews. It has rekindled the enthusiasm of his core constituency â€” the MoveOn, Hollywood liberal, Upper West Side precincts best described years ago by John Updike: â€œLike most of the neighborhood, she was a fighting liberal, fighting to have her money taken from her.â€
Added Updike: â€œFor all her exertions, it never was.â€ But now with Obama â€” it will be! Turns out, Obama really was the one they had been waiting for.
That is: the new Obama, todayâ€™s soak-the-rich, veto-threatening, self-proclaimed class warrior. Except that the new Obama is really the old Obama â€” the one who, upon entering office in the middle of a deep economic crisis, and determined not to allow â€œa serious crisis to go to wasteâ€ (to quote his then-chief of staff), exploited the (presumed) malleability of a demoralized and therefore passive citizenry to enact the largest Keynesian stimulus in recorded history, followed by the quasi-nationalization of one-sixth of the economy that is health care.
Considering the political cost â€” a massive electoral rebuke by an infuriated 2010 electorate â€” these are the works of a conviction politician, one deeply committed to his own social-democratic vision.
That politician now returns. Obamaâ€™s new populism surely is a calculation that his halfhearted feints to the center after the midterm â€œshellackingâ€ were not only unconvincing but would do him no good anyway with a stagnant economy, 9 percent unemployment and a staggering $4 trillion of new debt.
But this is more than a political calculation. It is more than just a pander to his base. It is a pander to himself: Obama is a member of his base. He believes this stuff. It is an easy and comfortable political shift for him, because itâ€™s a shift from a phony centrism back to his social-democratic core, from positioning to authenticity.
The authentic Obama is a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state, a tribune, above all, of â€œfairnessâ€ â€” understood as government-imposed and government-enforced equality.
Thatâ€™s why â€œsoak the richâ€ is not just a campaign slogan to rally the base. Itâ€™s a mission, a vocation. Itâ€™s why, for all its gratuitous cynicism and demagoguery, Obamaâ€™s populist Rose Garden lecture on Monday was delivered with such obvious â€” and unusual â€” conviction.
Heâ€™s returned to the authenticity of his radical April 2009 â€œNew Foundationâ€ address (at Georgetown University) that openly proclaimed his intent to fundamentally transform America.
In a 2001 NPR, State Senator Barack Obama complains of constitutional constraints on redistributive change.
Bookworm does a very nice job of putting Commissar Warren in her place.
There are so many things wrong with Warrenâ€™s statement that I really donâ€™t know where to begin. Tonestaple sent me an email that certainly gets the tone right (which led to my postâ€™s title):
They [meaning the middle class Leftists who applaud the above statement] seem to think it is the ne plus ultra of common sense. I think it sounds like a gangster saying, â€œNice factory youâ€™ve got here â€“ be a shame if anything happened to it.â€
…Tonestaple perfectly nailed the reality behind Warrenâ€™s cutesy, nursery school-esque, â€œGod blessyâ€ statement that everybody should share with everybody else.â€ The reality is that, in Obama world, if you donâ€™t make nice with the government, the government is not going to make nice with you. (The cutesy tone, incidentally, is classic Warren. She was one of my law school profs, and I found her invariably sweet in word, unintelligible in substance, and vaguely vicious in action.)
Tone aside, there are two major problems with Warrenâ€™s factory parable. The first is the assumption that the factory owner contributed nothing to roads, education, police and fire forces, etc. In Warrenâ€™s world, the factory owner is a pure parasite. Warren conveniently forgets that the factory owner pays taxes (hugely more taxes than all those people whom she posits paying for roads, education, etc.); that the factory owner provides work for and pays the salary of those employees who then pay taxes; and that a successful factory owner makes a product that provides a benefit to people.
The second problem with Warrenâ€™s statement is actually a much more profound one than her â€œforgettingâ€ that itâ€™s the employers who provide the goods, services and salaries that make all those useful taxes possible. Warrenâ€™s statement turns the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and everything else the Founders stood for upside down.
In Warrenâ€™s world, a socialist world, the government owns everything. (And donâ€™t you love it when well paid Harvard professors advocate socialism?)
Liberals are burbling in delight over Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s full-throated expression of the left’s soak-the-rich version of the social contract.
I hear all this, you know, â€˜Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own â€” nobody.”
â€œYou built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didnâ€™t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory â€” and hire someone to protect against this â€” because of the work the rest of us did.
â€œNow look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless â€” keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.â€
One of Glen Reynolds’ readers, who signs himself Fog City sent along his own rejoinder to Warren, originally posted in a discussion of her remarks in the Current Events section of a Stanford Football Fan forum:
â€œYou built a factory out there? Good for you,â€ â€œBuilt a factoryâ€ is a summary for a lot of work. Put up equity, designed a business, took risk to buy land, get permits, pay property taxes and use taxes and permit fees. Then, bought a bunch of equipment and had it installed â€¦and paid sales taxes. Hired some employees and paid them a bunch of money and paid payroll taxes on top of that. Bought a bunch of raw materials from companies that paid a bunch of salaries and a bunch of taxes. Building a factory is a huge private investment that pays the public a lot of taxes for the right to be built.
â€œBut I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.â€ Between fuel taxes, license fees, tolls and various taxes on transportation related activities, the roads budget is smaller than the total tax take.
you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; No, you did not educate them. You babysat them for 12 years. Then I hired them, taught them how to be responsible and show up for work, taught them how to communicate in clear sentences, taught them that there are rights and wrongs and (unlike with your schools) wrongs have consequences in the workplace. Then paid for extended education for my employees so they could continue to improve themselves and better add value to what we do around here.
â€œYou were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.â€ Funny, my factory has 24/7 security guards because the last time it was broken into, the police did not even bother to take a report, they just said â€œcall your insurance companyâ€. As for fire? The closest fire department is 10 miles away. My insurance company requires that I have a full wet sprinkler system to qualify for insurance because there is no local fire protection.
â€œYou didnâ€™t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.â€ Well, that is not exactly true. When the AFL-CIO tried to unionize my workforce, they staged three days of noisy protests outside my factory. The police forces just stood around and watched as the protesters intimidated my workers, vandalized their cars and destroyed my property.
You say â€œweâ€ like the government and society are the same. They arenâ€™t. My company and my community and you politicians are not â€œweâ€.
Another Stanford fan signing himself neodymian60 remarked in disgust:
I’ll weigh in because she could be my next Senator and the Democrats here are scrambling to unseat Scott Brown. Somehow she seems like the perfect insufferable replacement for the insufferable Ted Kennedy.
She has the big 3. Harvard. Lawyer. Academic. Check.
She is shrill, contentious, and condescending as only the elite can be.
While any idiot knows that there can be no market without roads and consumers, she insults everyone’s intelligence by having to explain that to them. And then insults the successful by making it seem as if they have betrayed everyone with their talents. …
I just got a call from the Brown campaign and gave them $110.
You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
Um – the thing is – those who built the factory and employed the workers generated the revenue that allowed the ctizens to pay for the roads, police etc. It sure as hell wasn’t built by the poor.
She continues: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Um – again. THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOING THAT. Hey if she questions that – just go to a town that revolved around a factory that went out of business and see how that town is faring. The factory – as it employs the citizens and pays its taxes etc (not to mention all its fees etc under the various regulations/licensing requirements) IS TAKING A HUNK OF THAT AND PAY(ING) IT FORWARD FOR THE NEXT KED WHO COMES ALONG.” Course if the factory shuts down – then that kid loses that opportunity and the town loses a whole lot of revenue.
Elizabeth the Harvard and Rutgers Prof, Head of TARP, lawyer, marxist, head of consumer affairs, candidate for US senate in Mass. friend of Obama, friend of Harry Reid…
If anyone on this board doubts that she is for the social contract that successful people need share their success with those who aren`t successful and have no cause for personal celebration or reward, that she intends that wealth redistribution is necessary and good, that she is not a marxist, you must be Palcal. There is no successful individual except those who have earned it on the backs of others and therefore owe the masses. There are no successful countries except those that earned it on the backs of other countries and therefore owe those countries.
Thus the apology tour at the initial stages of the Obama administration, the rage at successful people, the class warfare rhetoric. She and Obama are two peas in a pod, share the same values and cannot be called anything but Marxist redistributionists. To me, this is the antithetical behavior and value of what made the US exceptional and why the country is headed into the deep morass with policies that slowly and quickly drain the wealth of America over the world.
Gosh, it looks like some Stanford grads must have gone into business and become conservative.