In a CBS interview this past week, the president remarkably asserted that, in his first term, he has gotten all the policy right. His only mistake was not telling a good enough story to the American people.
He may not have told them well, but Obama really can’t be faulted for not telling audacious ones. His nose should be long enough to hang laundry on by now.
Take, for example, his continually repeated story that he has not and will not raise taxes on anybody earning less than his fantastical benchmark of The Evil Rich Who Aren’t Paying Their Fair Share – $250,000.00 yearly income.
Unless Congress acts before year-end, the tax rate on dividends, currently 15 percent, can more than double, to 39.6 percent. Obama would have you think those impacted by this hike are fat cat oil barons sitting around the country club, brandy snifters and cigars in hands, sneering at the economic suffering of the little people. According to an Ernst & Young study, the facts are much different. More than two-thirds of the households with dividend income on their tax returns have household incomes below $100,000.00. Also, over half of these investors are over age 50 – including, of course, many retirees trying to live on these dividends.
If the dividend tax increase is of specific interest to you, you might visit DefendMyDividend.com. Or call your elected representatives via the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3212 and give ‘em an earful.
The bigger tax lie has to do with Obamacare, the humorously titled “Affordable Care Act.” It contains more than 20 new taxes, most of which impact everybody regardless of income – like value added taxes on medical devices. It has been permitted to circumvent the U.S. Constitution only by being classed a tax by the Supreme Court.
But ObamaCare’s biggest, cruelest tax is going to be the crushing of jobs and the skyrocketing of unemployment. Employers with 50+ employees are in full court press right now to “shed employees!” everywhere they can, by any means they can, as fast as they can. Just as example, on visiting my local branch of a major regional bank the other day, I encountered little machines being installed for customers’ use. These let you make your deposits by having checks photo-imaged. No deposit slip, AND NO TELLER. Back at my home, I called a friend who serves on the board of a bigger bank chain and asked about these dandy little machines. He said they were experimental, fast being installed by many banks – with the intent of slashing the number of employees in every bank branch in America by 2/3rds, as quickly as possible. Why the desire to shed these employees? One-word answer: Obamacare.
Now here’s the dirty little secret: every percentage point increase in unemployment is, in effect, a tax increase on everybody. Unemployment benefits are not self-funded, any more than Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits are, so rising unemployment draws on federal and state resources that must be replenished. Make no mistake, Obama’s already record-breaking unemployment number – set to unimaginably worsen by weight of Obamacare on business — is a big, fat tax. On everybody. Same with Obama’s increasing of the rolls of food stamp users and welfare recipients. Those costs are born by everybody not receiving those benefits, a goodly number above poverty but below $250,000.00. These are hidden, secret, little-understood taxes. But they tax nonetheless.
The growth of government is, itself, a universally applied tax. Everything costs more, run through government. Anything government subsidizes for a few must be paid for by everybody else.
If he’s not taxing people making less than $250,000, I’m a handsome Hollywood actor who never snores. I just need a better story to convince my wife.
For the most part, the media let Obama get away with this. His CBS interviewer let both Obama’s claims go unchallenged: One, that he has gotten policy right, despite records in average length of time on unemployment, number of months of unemployment above 8 percent, expansion of food stamp recipients, accompanied by an unmatched mushrooming of the nation’s indebtedness and voluminous stimulus spending. And, two, that his only failure is as storyteller-in-chief.
The proper response to such a statement would be an uncontrollable fit of laughing.