Herman Cain's Commentary Archive 2009-2012

February 8, 2012

Obama has a curious definition of fairness

February 6, 2012
by Herman Cain

As President Obama continues his class warfare rhetoric, insisting that the rich should pay more in taxes, he continues to show that he has a different definition of fairness than most of us. In addition to his so-called “Buffet Rule” and saying that it is not fair that Buffet’s secretary pays more in taxes than her billionaire boss, Warren Buffet, he recently invoked the words of Jesus to try to intimidate or shame people out of opposing his desire to raise taxes on the rich.

By the way, who defines rich? Is there a Department of Definitions that has been secretly established in Washington, D. C. that we don’t know about? Maybe it is next door to the Department of Happy, since President Obama, his administration and the Democrats believe they can make people happy by continuing to tax, spend and give away other people’s money.

The lame example of Buffet’s secretary is comparing apples and oranges. Warren Buffet’s accountants have mastered the complex and unfair tax code to shelter as much of Buffet’s income from taxation as is legally possible. By contrast, Buffet’s secretary pays income and payroll taxes on her $100,000-a-year salary.

As a result, President Obama shows once again he is not interested in fixing the real problem, which is the tax code. He wants to add the words of Jesus Christ to his inventory of class warfare rhetoric. But making people envious of other people’s money or property was not a teaching of Jesus.

By the way, Obama completely misunderstands the passage he was quoting, which was Luke 12:48. In fact, the passage was part of a parable Jesus told about money managers who had been entrusted with different levels of their master’s wealth – and those who did well with the man’s wealth were rewarded, while those who did not were beaten.

The meaning of the parable was that when God gives people gifts, He expects them to be fruitful with them – not that people who “have been given” wealth (as if wealthy people just had their money given to them) are supposed to turn it over to the government. The real meaning of the passage could not be more different from what Obama wants it to mean.

So instead of rhetoric and bad Bible teaching, let’s look at some hard income tax facts from the latest available Internal Revenue Service data. For 2008, the top 10 percent of taxpayers paid 70 percent of all income taxes. The top 50 percent of taxpayers paid 97 percent of all income taxes, which means the bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent of all income taxes.

That’s not fair enough for Obama!

Some of us know that this is not about fairness at all. It’s about total redistribution of income to punish those who work hard and take risks, and to make those who do not more dependent on Big Brother government.

The class warfare rhetoric is also not about helping the needy. Churches and community-based organizations do a much better job of helping the needy than any government program. And where do those community organizations get most of their funding from? They get it from those greedy evil “rich” people, plus a lot of people who are not rich but have big giving hearts.

If President Obama was really interested in helping more people move into the top 50 percent of taxpayers, or maybe even become a millionaire or billionaire, he and Congress would replace the current tax code and stop adding more and more regulatory requirements on businesses. The burden of both taxes and senseless regulations also make starting a new business far more difficult than it used to be.

Instead, we are going to hear another debate about extending the payroll tax cut, which most people could not even notice in their paychecks when they got it, and more about once again extending unemployment benefits with money the government does not have.

Raising taxes on the rich, or anybody, is only going to make things worse for families, businesses, the unemployed and the underemployed. That’s a fact the president and the Democrats refuse to acknowledge.

All of the president’s fairness rhetoric is just that – rhetoric. It can’t help people find jobs, buy food or gasoline, nor can it give this economy the boost it needs.

That’s unfair to all of us.