The president who came to office vowing to “spread the wealth around” by raising taxes on individuals with incomes above $200,000 is doubling down, making a tax hike on the rich the centerpiece of his campaign for reelection.
President Obama is making a mistake. Not the first, you understand, nor the last. But he thinks that the American people don’t like the rich, don’t trust the rich, are envious of the rich and want to punish the rich. That’s what he thinks and in his hubris he thinks everyone else must think so too.
But this article, a nice reminder of just how much the rich already pay, illustrates the point that most Americans (those who think about the matter at all) understand that, and also understand that the way they became rich was by providing goods and services that other people wanted. And some, like Steve Jobs, provided things that people didn’t even know they wanted, until they saw them!
But voters, by and large, don’t yearn to see the wealthy stripped bare by the tax collector. In a new nationwide poll, Gallup asked Americans to rank a list of policy proposals for the next president to address. Respondents gave highest priority to “creating good jobs,” “reducing corruption in federal government,” “reducing the federal budget deficit,” “dealing with terrorism and other international threats,” and “ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicaid.” Raising taxes on the wealthy placed last. Even among Obama supporters, no issue on Gallup’s list was deemed less important.
Most people don’t recognize this as the progressives’ strategy of class warfare (they are at war with us) but they do recognize the politics of envy, the “tax the rich” mantra, and they don’t like them. There are much bigger fish to fry than trying to get the rich to pay more, according to most Americans.
And that’s good thing.