I was listening to Rush Limbaugh recently and he had a caller who was a Barack Obama supporter. The caller, like many Obama supporters, was having a lot of trouble expressing what Obama had done to qualify him to be president. Eventually, the caller said that he liked Obama because he was going to sock it to the rich and raise their taxes. Indeed, Obama, on his official Web site, says the problem with our economy is “Tax Cuts for Wealthy Instead of Middle Class.”
This is a common mantra of liberal Democrats, that Republicans give tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the middle class. Unfortunately for the Democrats, though, this statement couldn’t be more false. A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the impact of the 2003 Bush tax cuts. It says “The data show that the 2003 Bush tax cuts caused what may be the biggest increase in tax payments by the rich in American history.” After the Bush tax cuts, “Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%.”
The WSJ article further states that, “The idea that this has been a giveaway to the rich is a figment of the left’s imagination. Taxes paid by millionaire households more than doubled to $274 billion in 2006 from $136 billion in 2003. No President has ever plied more money from the rich than George W. Bush did with his 2003 tax cuts.”
However you want to define them (top 50% or top 1% of earners), and however you want to look at what they pay (in dollars or percentages), the rich are already paying the vast majority of taxes in the US. If taxes are raised much more on the rich, as Obama wants to do, half the country will end up shouldering the entire tax burden of our country, supporting the other half of the country who would be paying no tax. This is a very troubling trend, and it’s very troubling that one of our major political parties supports such a policy of inequity and disrespect to private property. The money people earn, great or small, belongs to them, not the government. Not to mention the fact that Obama’s tax increases would cripple our economy. Morally and economically, the smart thing to do is lower taxes, not raise them.