Last week President Obama delivered a stinging rebuke to wealthy Americans who stubbornly cling to the notion that they deserve to keep the fruits of their labor:
“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. . . Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that . . . There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.”
The President’s rhetoric is eerily similar to a diatribe offered last year by Massachusetts Senatorial Candidate Elizabeth Warren, which at the time was heralded by liberals as a rallying cry for progressive populism.
Without a doubt, all Americans are grateful for government-funded roads, courts, schools, police, and fire departments (which, by the way, are primarily state and locally funded – not Federally funded).
However, no intelligent person believes America is running trillion dollar deficits because the cost of roads and fire departments has sky-rocketed.
The real fiscal disaster facing America is the $61.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities caused primarily by the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs. Obamacare, if fully implemented, may foist an additional $17 trillion in unfunded liabilities upon Americans.
In reality, Obama needs the “rich” to fork-over more of their income to support America’s ever expanding social-welfare state. Even then, repealing the Bush tax cuts for high earners would only help pay a portion of the shortfall.
As for the President’s argument about “giving back,” I bet you can’t find me a wealthy business owner who believes that Social Security and Medicare helped them build successful, profitable businesses.
If anything, these programs are a hindrance to business. Employers are already required to pay a 7.65 percent Social Security and Medicare payroll tax on behalf of each of their employees. Obamacare’s new insurance burden on employers only makes matters worse.
Look no further than California, a state with one of the highest tax burdens in the country, to get an idea about how the “give something back” budget plan is working. The cost of public union pensions (not roads or fire departments) recently drove two large California cities into declaring bankruptcy, a move that may be imitated by cities across California.
The inconvenient truth for liberals is that the top ten percent of American earners, who already pay an unfair 71 percent of federal income taxes, will never be able to cover the budget shortfall under current spending projections.
Paul Ryan and House Republicans introduced and passed a workable budget plan to address our long-term spending problem without raising taxes on anyone. Conversely, for nearly four years, the Democrat-controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget. President Obama’s budget was twice rejected unanimously in Congress.
Belittling businesses while demanding that the rich pay their “fair share” isn’t a budget plan; it’s a distraction.