[Guest post by DRJ]
Barack Obama sat down Saturday for an MTV interview that covered a wide range of topics, including how he will spread the wealth to lower-income Americans by taking “chump change” from the rich:
“[MTV News staffer] Sway: Our next question is from Matt from Iowa: “If your desire is to spread the wealth around, what incentive is there for me to try to work hard? If I am only going to get more taken away from me, the more money I make, why wouldn’t I just slide into a life of relaxation and let rich people take care of me? And a lot of people are asking similar questions, and I wanted you to specify. What does this mean exactly?”
Obama: What is amazing to me is this whole notion that somehow everybody is just looking out for themselves. I mean, the fact is, we just talked about student loans. When young people who have the drive and the skill to go to college can’t afford to go to college, how do you think we pay for scholarships or loan programs? That money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s got to come from somewhere, and the attitude that I have is that, if we want to grow our economy, the way it grows is from the bottom up. You don’t just give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. What you do is make sure the tax code is fair. I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans, but in order to pay for that, I’m going to take the tax rates back to what they were in the 1990s for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Now for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, if they are paying 2 or 3 percent higher in taxes, the notion that they’re somehow going to stop working, or that this young man is going to not want to be successful, that just doesn’t make any sense. Back in the 1990s, we created more millionaires, more billionaires, because the economy was growing, everything was strong, at every income bracket, people were doing well. So this idea, that somehow everybody is just on their own and shouldn’t be concerned about other people who are coming up behind them, that’s the kind of attitude that I want to end when I am president.
Sway: Just out of curiosity, for those that are being taxed that are making more than $250,000 a year, how much difference would it be from how they are being taxed today?
Obama: Well, right now, they are getting taxed at 36 percent. Under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, they were being taxed at 39.6 percent. You are talking about a 3.6 percent difference, and for the average person who is making half a million, a million dollars, now people like you Sway, that’s chump change, that’s nothing. But it could make a big difference for that young person who is trying to figure out whether they can go to college or not, if we could give them more of a break or more scholarships or grants to go to college.”
Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.
The college tuition issue is also interesting. I wonder if Obama thinks college tuition should be paid by loans or scholarships, as if it’s impossible for average Americans to save for college costs. I doubt there are many Americans who can afford Columbia and Harvard, but there are many other choices that people can afford if they work and save and are allowed to keep their money.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out that Obama’s “chump change” tax increase works out to $9,000 more in taxes for a family making $250,000. That’s $9,000 a year those families won’t be able to save for their children’s college education. It’s not small change but it shows Obama thinks Americans are chumps.