Obama’s Class Act

Posted on October 4, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

By Scott Orr

When President Obama unveiled his plan to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, it didn’t take Republicans long to accuse him of pursuing an electoral strategy of pitting one group of Americans against another.

This is called “class warfare,” they said.

“Class warfare … may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics,” Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee,  said on “Fox News Sunday”.

Obama’s plan would end the Bush tax cuts for couples making more than $250,000 a year and bring back the old top tax rate of 39 percent, which had been lowered to 35 percent. And, of course, it includes the so-called “Buffett rule” to ensure that millionaires pay at least the same effective tax rate as middle-class Americans.

It’s the plan’s reliance on tax hikes on the rich that have prompted Republicans to accuse the President of trying to shore up his base by dividing the country along class, or income, lines. Obama attempted to dodge the class warfare accusation even as he unveiled his new plan.
“I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare. I think it’s just the right the thing to do….This is not class warfare. It’s math,” Obama said.

Meanwhile, three independent polls issued since Obama unveiled his plan suggest that the American people disagree with the GOP on this one.

According to a Gallup poll issued in late September, 66 percent of all Americans favor the idea of raising taxes on couples that earn more than $250,000 per year. The same poll showed 70 percent of Americans favored raising taxes on corporations by ending certain deductions.

Then there was a Fox News poll that asked this loaded question: Do you think Barack Obama’s political strategy for reelection is designed to bring people together with a hopeful message, or drive people apart with a partisan message?

Surprisingly, 56 percent said bring people together while only 32 percent said drive people apart.

Finally, a Washington Post poll found only 29 percent believe that Obama is doing more to help the “have nots” than to help the “haves,” while 45 percent, say he’s treating both equally. A 47 percent plurality said Republicans are doing more to help the “haves.”

Though not blatantly partisan, the anti-Wall Street protests that have spread from New York to other U.S. cities might give another indication of an American public that wants the rich to shoulder its share of the tax burden.

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2 Responses to “Obama’s Class Act”

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This is certainly class warfare and the polls do not tell the real story, and somebody needs to inform all our dedicated politicans from both parties to indeed check their math and realize that families and couples who make $200k-250k and reside in cities and states where they now pay very high local,county, state and federal taxes and ridiculous property and school taxes are not wealthy and are struggling everyday to pay their family bills in the middle class.


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