It’s sometimes hard for this feature to keep up with all of the material supplied by President Obama. Two or three press conferences ago — who can keep up these days? — Obama offered a revealing look at how he sees the relationship between government and personal property, emphasis Howard Portnoy’s:
And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their [sic] kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans.
Howard hits the mark:
Understand, this was a hypothetical. The president wasn’t necessarily speaking about his own “additional income (that he doesn’t need).” He was speaking about somebody else’s. And something tells me that that somebody else is not among the 47 percent of U.S. households that pay not a penny of federal income tax.
In the meantime, the notion implied in the president’s remark that American citizens are “able to keep” money that they earn is intriguing. Apparently, in the president’s world, citizens of the U.S. don’t pay tax to the government in accordance with its needs, as envisioned by the nation’s founders. Rather, the money that you earn belongs in the first place to the government, which then in its infinite wisdom decides how much you are “permitted to keep”—and how much goes to a person who is more deserving of your hard-earned money than you are (e.g., someone struggling to put his kids through college).
It’s actually worse than that. Just who is Obama to decide how much an individual earner needs to keep? If Obama earns more than he feels he needs, then Obama can give the excess away to charity — or even donate it to the Treasury to pay down the national debt. Nor was this some sort of misspeak; Obama has said much the same thing before, most notably when he told an audience, “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
Clearly, Obama isn’t looking for revenue for the sake of funding critical national efforts. He wants to take away “excess” money from the people who earned it and make himself and his administration into the Ministry Of “Need.”
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