Leave it to Old Senate Hand Joe Biden to inject some much-needed honesty into an increasingly deceitful presidential campaign.
With the country’s financial sector in shambles, the economy hemorrhaging jobs and the race for the White House tightening, the Barack Obama campaign is circling the wagons, trying to convince a shaken electorate that he’s not the tax-hiking, redistributionist Democrat he promised to be earlier this year.
In a Sept. 7 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Obama acknowledged that tax increases on upper-income Americans and on capital gains could cause further damage to the economy. He promised to immediately cut taxes on the middle class.
This week, an Obama spokesman reiterated his priority would be “getting it (the economy) moving again, creating jobs and relieving the squeeze on families.”
Unfortunately for the campaign, Sen. Biden, the vice presidential nominee, apparently wasn’t copied on the new fib about the team’s class-warfare agenda.
In a Sept. 18 appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sen. Biden not only acknowledged an Obama administration would sock it to the rich, but insinuated that upper-income Americans don’t love this country if they refuse to go along.
“It’s time to be patriotic,” Sen. Biden said, referring to the supposed need for wealthier Americans to pay more taxes. “Time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”
So there you have it. Sen. Obama’s smooth assurances aside, we now know the Democratic ticket believes this nation’s economic malaise can be corrected by confiscating even more wealth from its most productive citizens.
Already, the wealthiest 1 percent of filers pay 39 percent of all income taxes. The richest 40 percent of American households cover 99 percent of the income tax burden. These are the taxpayers who invest in companies, create jobs and spread wealth across a wider spectrum than any welfare program.
Congress already tried a “bottom-up” approach to stimulating the economy this year by mailing checks too small to cover a mortgage payment to the majority of households. But they somehow forgot their progressivism. The so-called “rich” — single people making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 per year — got little to nothing. And the economy didn’t recover.
Repeating this blunder wouldn’t mark the first time Sen. Biden has copied someone else’s work.
There’s nothing patriotic about punishing success. And those who believe voluntary charity is patriotic can surely do better than the $380 per year the Bidens report donating over the past decade — 0.2 percent of their income, one-tenth the national average.
America is strongest when its citizens have the freedom and wealth to acquire property and participate in the global economy. The best way to achieve that is to encourage lower tax rates — for everyone.