Who Are ‘They’? To Obama, “they” are responsible for all our troubles. Problem is, “they” are most of us. By Victor Davis Hanson in National Review
On the Obamist reading, the record federal deficits are not due to waste and fraud. Nor are unnecessary government spending and excessive entitlements the culprits. A bankrupt Medicare and soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security, congressional pork-barrel projects, and interest due on past profligate spending did not cause our budget crisis. Instead, the red ink is almost entirely due to a shortage of revenue, and brought on by the greedy who have the capacity, but not the caring, to fork over more.
. . . Who are “they,” who have raised the bar on everyone else?
First, of course, “they” are the rich in perpetual war against the poor. “They” made out like bandits under Bush, so “they” should have their federal income taxes raised to make “them” “pay their fair share” in “patriotic” fashion. Forget that currently about 5 percent of taxpayers shoulders nearly half the federal income-tax burden. It matters little that a greater percentage of households (well over 40 percent) now pays no federal income tax whatsoever.
“They” should be targeted as well by the states, many of which have rightly raised their tax rates — in California, to over 10 percent. “They” are easily able to pay a new health-care surcharge, the greedy few lending a helping hand to the virtuous many. “They” surely have enough to pay the full 15.3 percent FICA tax on most of their income over the current $106,000 cap. Add it up, and soon state, federal, FICA, property, and sales taxes will reach 60 to 70 percent of “their” incomes.
But that is a tolerable bite since income is now seen as inherently arbitrary and rigged. How compensation is calibrated is somehow illegitimate in the first place — and thus it cannot properly belong entirely to the earner. At least, I think that conjecture reflects the president’s own past unguarded references concerning the need for “redistributive” change and his exhortations to “spread the wealth.”