The Corner

Blame Barack, Not Charlie & George

It’s rather amusing watching the liberal media in full-scale attack mode on George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson, with the Washington Post’s Tom Shales as the general leading the charge. Oh my gosh! Their hero Obama has been wounded!

What’s the problem here? Messrs. Gibson and Stephanopolis actually challenged Obama with tough, well-informed questions on tax policy and politics? That’s what they’re supposed to do. At any rate, it’s fascinating to watch members of the mainstream liberal media lunge at each others throats. It’s kind of like watching Hillary and Obama, isn’t it?

Look, here’s the deal: Obama bungled the tax question, big time. Period. End of sentence. End of story. To my liberal friends out there all I can say is: Get over it. Your guy has a very poor grasp of basic economic principles.

First off, you don’t raise taxes during a recession. That’s a no-brainer. Second, doubling the capital-gains tax affects Americans up and down the income ladder, not just rich hedge-fund managers. In addition, capital-gains tax cuts are self-financing, and they stimulate jobs and the economy. You want to raise budget revenues? Cut the cap-gains tax rate. That’s what history shows. Finally, hiking the payroll tax also affects people up and down the income ladder.

Uncapping the payroll tax reveals still another cultural misstep by Sen. Obama. He apparently has a difficult time understanding that nowadays, a veteran fireman or a veteran cop, married to a veteran schoolteacher, will make well over $100,000. In fact, they can make close to $200,000. Yet Obama still wants to go ahead and tax both the first and last payroll dollar of this group at a very high marginal tax rate by uncapping the Social Security (FICA) tax.

(Incidentally, I don’t think Mr. Obama knows any cops or fireman. How about that? That is the problem. In other words, his economics are bad and his social circle is very limited.)

But put all this aside for a moment. Obama’s real agenda is a liberal-left ideology that places income redistribution above economic growth. That’s his real message. And looking at the results of presidential elections over the past three decades, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry all lost with a similar message. Bill Clinton? He was a growth Democrat. So he won twice. But Obama is aligning himself with the Democratic losers. And that will make him a loser as well.

Now, whether Hillary’s pit-bull routine during the debate helped her or not remains to be seen. We’ll learn more on that front come Tuesday when Pennsylvanians head to the voting booths. But that’s a different issue. All I’m saying is that liberals need to quit blaming Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis for Obama’s shortcomings. But do blame Obama for failing to grasp the tax penalties he will create on upward mobility for the very people he thinks he’s helping. These same people will be hurt a second time around when the wealthy folks who own capital have less of it — after tax — to invest in new businesses and new jobs. 


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