Senate to take up tax hikes this week
The debate over taxes is expected to heat up as the Senate plan to take up the issue this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bringing forward a bill that will maintain current tax rates for those making under $250,000 a year, but pushing tax rates up to pre-Bush levels for higher-income earners and an increase in capital gain rates. They also intend to do nothing to prevent the “death tax” rate from skyrocketing to 55% at the beginning of the year.
Senate Democrats are clearly using the issue for political gain, essentially fiddling while the economy burns, as reports on earning indicate that the United States could be headed back into a recession. A recent study by Ernest and Young shows that raising taxes even on higher-income earners, as Senate Democrats propose, would hit the economy hard.
For their part, Senate Republicans plan to introduce their own language to extend current tax rates for all income earners. And while they are being painted as unwilling to compromise on taxes, they’re merely doing what President Obama himself did in 2010, which was push extention of current tax rates during a time of economic turmoil. Since growth in the economy has been relatively weak in the last two years, it’s difficult for President Obana and Sen. Reid to explain why they didn’t just raise taxes when they had the opportunity.
But we’ve seen President Obama’s true colors on the economy in recent days, not that many of us questioned it in the first place. While Obama paints himself as a champion of the middle class, his economic policies, which discourage small businesses, are going to do great harm. Writing at the New York Post, Michael Walsh explains what is behind President Obama’s rhetoric and what it means going forward:
‘If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”: President Obama’s words last week are likely to haunt his campaign and possibly cost him the election.
The line insulted millions of entrepreneurs, small-business owners, garage inventors and plain old dreamers. (The Post reported this week on a few of the New Yorkers who took exception.)
Of course, Obama supporters have relentlessly pointed out that the instantly viral head-scratcher was preceded by some no-man-is-an-island boilerplate. “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own… somebody along the line gave you some help,” the president said.
In other words, it takes a village — on steroids.
That’s simply not true. The American people existed long before the American government did. They created our unique, republican form of federal democracy, handing the central government a few enumerated powers in order to prevent it from interfering in the business of the states or the lives of the citizens.
What’s good in the government comes from the people; what’s good in the people does not come from government.
But it’s abundantly clear that Obama believes there’s no such thing as a self-made man, no such creature as the lone genius (Jobs, or Thomas Edison) who transforms everyone’s life through the force of his vision.
The telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the light bulb, the MacBook, the iPhone and the iPad all disprove his thesis. Great inventions are most often conceived by private individuals, sitting alone in a room, not government bureaucrats.
And that’s why Obama’s “gaffe” could well become a focal point of the election — a sharp line of demarcation between a party that stands for collectivism and one that not only celebrates the individual but also gets out of his way.
The president’s been promising “fundamental transformation” of the country since 2008. Altering the relationship between citizen and state is certainly part of that.
Sure, he may paint lip-service to entrepreneurship, but the “you didn’t build that” comments infer a collective ownership of businesses — or at the very least, some stake in it. Sadly, the view of business painted by President Obama is not unlike that of other collectivists. And while some may take issue with use of that particular term, it’s hard not to see Obama’s view in any other light.