If you ask me, Barack Obama needs to go back to school.
He doesn't have to repeat everything of course, just the part where the teacher goes over numbers, explaining what "less than" means, what "greater than" means, and what "equal to" means because, for my money—and it is my money—he just doesn't get it.
What do I mean by this? According to the president, 200,000 is equal to 1,000,000—not less than 1,000,000 as I was taught—and well, we can't both be right. One of us has to be wrong.
I suspect it's the president, because he keeps talking about the need to be fair by raising taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" while the plans he released would see taxes start to go up on people making more than $200,000 a year. Something just doesn't add up. [Check out political cartoons about the economy.]
Obama's latest proposal constitutes a tax hike on small business and on private capital, both of which are desperately needed right now to jump start the U.S. economy and to create more jobs. It's a bad plan, one that's more about appeasing his political base than it is about making things better. "Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership," House Speaker John Boehner said. "This administration's insistence on raising taxes on job creators and its reluctance to take the steps necessary to strengthen our entitlement programs are the reasons the president and I were not able to reach an agreement previously, and it is evident today that these barriers remain."
What the president repeatedly neglects to mention is that the U.S. tax code is already progressive—and aggressively so. The top 1 percent—those earning more than $400,000 per year—pay 40 percent of all income taxes and pay 28 percent of all combined federal taxes. The top 5 percent pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes. And yet, according to the president, America still needs a tax hike of another $1,500,000,000—which would amount, according to some estimates, to $3 in new taxes for ever $1 in spending cuts coming out of the debt ceiling deal.
The fact is that Obama is campaigning for re-election—and he wants the people who make less than $200,000 to vote for him based on the fact that he wants everyone who makes more than that to have to send more to Washington. Some people call it "class warfare." Others call it "the politics of hate and envy." Either way or another way it's not going to help get the American economy moving again and put people back to work.
- Vote: Are Obama's Proposed Tax Hikes 'Class Warfare'?
- Rick Newman: The Biggest Losers Under Obama's Debt-Cutting Plan
- See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.