days back I noted that the WaPo's Greg Sargent
was ticked off
by a Mitt Romney quote: "I believe in the Constitution --
and I believe in the greatness of America." Why? Because Romney
was "clearly insinuating that Obama doesn’t."
At the time, I guessed that Sargent would not apply that test impartially. And now, Jonah Goldberg brings attention to "what many believe will be [Obama's] re-election theme: “Country first.”
By the Sargent Rule, this means that President Obama is "clearly insinuating" that his opponents aren't putting "country first", right?
Is Sargent calling Obama on this smear? Not so much. Instead he recycles his bile about the GOP. Sargent's a hack who doesn't even pretend to use consistent standards in his criticism..
Kirsanow posts "questions for the President" every now and then,
and today's are particularly good. In fact, I've asked them myself,
and have fantasized asking them of any pol or pundit who blathers
about "asking the rich to pay their fair share of taxes":
During your bus tour this week you repeatedly called for “shared sacrifice” and for the “wealthy” to pay their “fair share” in order to reduce the federal deficit and debt. According to the latest IRS data:Or: "What do you want those numbers to look like instead?"
- The top 1 percent of income earners pay 38 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn 20 percent of all (adjusted gross) income.
- The top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn 55 percent of all income.
- The top 25 percent of all income earners pay 86 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn 67 percent of all income.
- Approximately half of U.S. households pay no federal income taxes whatsoever.
From which of the above categories do you want more “shared sacrifice?”
In a related note, the WSJ looks
at the Strange Case of the Missing Millionaires. (To see the
article, it will probably suffice to Google "Millionaires
Go Missing" and click on an appropriate link.)
Their key table shows the changes between 2007 and 2009 in the number of high-income earners and the taxes they paid:
Fascinating. The paper generates some similar numbers as Kirsanow's:
The millionaires who are left still pay a mountain of tax. Those who make $1 million accounted for about 0.2% of all tax returns but paid 20.4% of income taxes in 2009. Those with adjusted gross income above $200,000 a year were just under 3% of tax filers but paid 50.1% of the $866 billion in total personal income taxes. This means the top 3% paid more than the bottom 97%. Yet the 3% are the people that President Obama claims don't pay their fair share. Before the recession, the $200,000 income group paid 54.5% of the income tax.Again, President Obama: what do you want those numbers to look like instead? But the real bottom line is:
It's an old story: The best way to produce income equality is to destroy trillions of dollars of wealth. Everyone loses, but the rich lose relatively more than the poor and the middle class. By that measure, if few others, Obamanomics has been a raging success.
Wall·E? Took me way too long, but it
was fun looking. How many of those other guys do you recognize?