The arrogance displayed at the beginning of the President’s first term has re-emerged. Somehow he believes he has a mandate—or worse, sovereign powers. He hands Congress a proposal chock-full of new spending with the only plan to raise revenue is taxing the top 2% of American wage earners, and he’s unwilling to negotiate.
The famous Warren Buffett smoke-and-mirrors analogy of taxing millionaires to pay down the debt is just that. Buffett paid $6+ million in taxes last year. If we doubled his taxes and he paid $13 million, it wouldn’t put a dent in our national debt.
In fact, even if we tax the top 2% at 100% rate, it wouldn’t put a dent in the nation’s debt! The suggestion to raise taxes on the top 2% is a feel-good tactic designed to placate the President’s base.
The wealthiest Americans will continue to find loopholes and deductions to avoid paying higher taxes—which is why the Republicans have proposed closing the loopholes and limiting deductions on the top 2%.
Consider these figures*:
66.1 million Americans receive welfare, food stamps, and/or Medicaid
21.2 million Americans work for the government
109.3 million Americans are employed by the private sector
This means 87.3 million Americans draw checks from the government. This doesn’t include the Social Security, Medicare, and disability debacle.
Let’s get real. It’s not rocket science. To raise revenue to help balance the budget and start paying down the debt we need to add more private sector tax payers. To do this, we must create an environment that will enable job growth. Raising taxes on those making above $250,000 (many are small business owners), will stagnate job growth even more.
The other thing in the President’s proposal? Eliminate the debt ceiling.
Just like when the President erroneously stated last spring the Supreme Court didn’t have jurisdiction to rule on Obamacare, he once again shows his ignorance of the Constitution. Three branches exist for a reason—for times like these when one branch tries for a power grab and refuses to negotiate. The debt ceiling is controlled by Congress to force the country to live within its means.
Could you imagine if we didn’t have a debt ceiling?
Part of the problem is we refuse to take the bitter medicine we should have four years ago. No one wants to tighten the purse strings. Yet, like the person who runs up credit card debt and lives overextended all of a sudden finds their world crashing down around them, our nation will suffer the same fate if our leaders don’t get serious about debt control.
It’s ridiculous that, just like during the election, polls reflect anger and blame toward Republicans when they are working toward financial responsibility. I’m under no illusion that their plan is perfect or that we don’t have pork barrel addicts in Congress. However, it’s time to take the ideological blinders off just because you support the social programs of the President. He’s unwilling to negotiate!
Where’s the leadership?
President Reagan worked across the aisle with House Speaker Tip O’Neill, and President Clinton worked with House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both of these administrations enjoyed economic success, which in turn, benefited the American people.
The sad, ironic thing is that once again the President has taken to the campaign trail to sell his proposal. He implores Americans to tweet or call Congress to show support for his plan. This isn’t a popularity contest, Mr. President. The election is over. I don’t care one whit who gets the “blame” if we go over the fiscal cliff, despite the mainstream media trying to pin it on John Boehner and the Republicans. Neither am I surprised by that. The media helped re-elect what we have now.
Roll up your sleeves, Mr. President, and get to work! The costs are too high, if you fail to lead. Our country and our children’s future depend on it.
© Laura Hodges Poole
*Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Photo courtesy of Microsoft.com free clip art