On the same day that Politico’s John Harris heralds the rise of Barack Obama, Class Warrior, Joe Scarborough blasts the President for being Barack Obama, Class Hypocrite. After a nasty presidential campaign that made Mitt Romney into a villain for abiding by tax law to keep his effective income tax rate low, Obama’s recent tax returns shows that he did exactly the same thing — and Scarborough vented his disgust this morning:
Transcript from NBC News, with the e.e. cummings filter removed:
This is a problem with liberals that come forward and talk about raising taxes on the rest of us! And raising taxes on small business owners and having these rich guys come on TV going, Let’s raise taxes. I don’t need tax cuts. Those guys that are saying it are paying 16%, 17%, 18%! Barack Obama has been championing raising taxes on small business owners for years! And he is paying 18% in taxes because raising those taxes don’t affect him! And he talks about fairness? This guy, this guy talks about fairness? And he is paying 18%? He wants to jack tax rates up to 39% and if you live in Connecticut or New York or Illinois or California, you’re paying over 50% in taxes after you take the local, the state, and the national! And Barack Obama, class warrior, is playing 18% in taxes.
Harris says that Obama won because the politics of resentment work:
There was nothing especially subtle about the way Barack Obama played the politics of class resentment against Mitt Romney in 2012.
“My opponent,” Obama brayed in Virginia Beach last fall, “thinks that someone who makes $20 million a year, like him, should pay a lower [tax] rate than a cop or a teacher who makes $50,000.”
And there was nothing especially mysterious about the reason: Class warfare works.
So too do the politics of hypocrisy. David Ignatius tries to salvage Obama’s tax-hike argument (about which more later today) by saying that this could be used to prove Obama’s point. Except, of course, Obama wasn’t required to use his deductions to lower his tax rate. He could have filed a simple tax return and left off all of his charitable contributions and his other deductions and exemptions, and could have even used that to good effect in order to promote an example of shared sacrifice. Instead, Obama did exactly what Romney does, which is to take the most efficient tax posture allowed within the law, for which Obama and his allies savaged Romney less than a year ago.
Limousine liberal, indeed.