President Barack Obama has more or less declared war on wealthy Americans with his proposed tax and spending plans. Daniel Henninger explains:
Mr. Obama made clear in the campaign his intention to raise taxes on this income class by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. What is becoming clearer as his presidency unfolds is that something deeper is underway here than merely using higher taxes to fund his policy goals in health, education, and energy.
The “top 1%” isn’t just going to pay for these policies. Many of them would assent to that. The rancorous language used to describe these taxpayers makes it clear that as a matter of public policy they will be made to “pay for” the fact of their wealth — no matter how many of them worked honestly and honorably to produce it. No Democratic president in 60 years has been this explicit.
So Obama has it in for the wealthy. Those of us who went beyond the gushing headlines during the campaign last year already knew that. It’s ironic, considering his income jumped from $991,296 in 2006 to $4.2 million in 2007 — but while you can move a man away from the breeding ground of his ideology, you can’t take the ideology out of the man. Plus you have to admit he sure looks snazzy in those expensive tailored suits.
What’s even more ironic is that as Obama continues to offer campaign-like platitudes in an effort to bolster his populist credentials, he’s busy boosting his credentials with the wealthy socialites in Washington:
Earlier this year, the Obama administration invited top editors of Washington’s three local luxury lifestyle magazines, Capitol File, DC Magazine, and Washington Life, to a meeting where, among other things, they discussed how the president and first lady can embrace Washington’s glittery social scene. …
A White House aide who spoke on condition of anonymity dismissed the notion that a publicly populist Obama White House is privately courting socialites, contending that the meeting was held to explore how the Obamas can “engage in the community.” The aide also pointed out that similar meetings were held with representatives of sports, entertainment, and philanthropic organizations in Washington.
Rich people are to be reviled, according to Obama’s rhetoric, except when it comes to his bank account and his social life. I think I get it now. That explains the Wednesday cocktail parties, Obama’s penchant for $100 per serving Wagyu steak, and cranking up the taxpayer-funded thermostat in the Oval Office — thus inspiring my newest nickname for him, Tropical Barry. In three delicious flavors: Marxist Berry Red, Eco-Fraud Green, and Kool Menthol.
As Mel Brooks memorably said, “It’s good to be the king.”
Meanwhile, everyday Americans are dealing with the financial pinch by purchasing less expensive food and cutting back on everything from entertainment to major items such as cars and computers. As Michelle Malkin says, “party time is over” in flyover country. That’s okay; we still have My Super Sweet 16, Entertainment Tonight, and various awards shows to comfort us. Watching the rich and famous play is almost as good as being rich and famous ourselves. Boy, I sure miss Robin Leach. And by spending less, we’re lessening our ghastly carbon footprints that Americans are famous for! It’s a win-win situation, unless you’re one of the companies that provide goods and services people are no longer purchasing. But as long as greenies like carbon-spewing Al Gore are happy, we should count our blessings, because it’s all we’ll have left once the stock market finishes tanking.
The Washington Times article linked above points out that the Reagans also sought to mingle with high society. But Ronald Reagan wanted to cut taxes for all taxpayers — including the wealthy Georgetown set he hobnobbed with. Obama wants to play, but expects them to pay for the privilege.
And what about those people who are eager to cadge an invitation to a party starring Washington’s hottest new couple? Are they so bedazzled by the “change” in the social circuit that they can’t see what’s in front of their noses? Or have they bought into the “guilt by association” game that liberals have been promoting since time immemorial, so therefore being taxed at a disproportionate rate is “fair”?
I say that all of the rich folks who don’t believe in voluntary giving to the charity of their choice and want to be taxed at higher rates than the rest of us should just make a big fat check out to the IRS every year. It’d be interesting to see how many of them would actually do it.
So as the Obama administration continues to denigrate wealthy people and tax them accordingly, the Obamas are busy revamping the White House, Michelle’s image, and the Washington social scene. Heck, Michelle even received the rare privilege of sharing the cover of the April edition of mega-celebrity Oprah’s magazine. (I wonder: would Cindy McCain or Sarah Palin have received the same offer?) If that doesn’t send a mixed signal, I don’t know what does.
But it’s not what Obama says; it’s how he says it. And as long as his teleprompter continues to work properly, he’ll continue with the same old class envy message. Just don’t expect him to eat the same day-old bread you do. Cake is much tastier.