Every so often I get indignant all over again at the President's eagerness to take all the tax breaks and loopholes he can find on his multi-million-dollar annual income - those same tax breaks he complains "the rich" are abusing. And every so often the media ignores the blatant contradictions of it and gives him a pass. Is that fair?
Now, U2's Bono is in the news because protesters are chastising him for legally avoiding paying maximum taxes.
Meanwhile, President Obama continues to sing the same song Bono sings, with nary a peep from anyone. He did it in April, taking a $22,000 Foreign Tax Credit while lip sinc-ing The White House Staff's latest Brand New Unprecidented Historic proposal to Take from the Rich and Give to the Poor by playing "Where'd Your Piggy Bank Go?".
And in a speech in Toledo in May, he did it again. Mr Obama had the audacity to say this: "We’ve got to live within our means, everybody’s got to do their part. Middle-class workers like you, though, shouldn’t be bearing all the burden. You work too hard for someone to ask you to pay more so that somebody who’s making millions or billions of dollars can pay less." (see Page 13 at the link)
And so, once more, here's my same old hissy fit about it: Originally Posted 1/26/11:
Suppose I believe that it's a good thing to pay taxes in order for the government to provide services that make our society a better place, and that in fact it is the government's job to do this.
Suppose, theoretically, that I've decried special tax deductions loopholes & tax shelters for the wealthy to prevent them having to pay the full allotment of tax due on their income and assets. Suppose I have built a career on supporting this outlook.
Let's suppose that my income for one year is already $5.5 Million, and of that, I will pay about 33% in taxes (including Self Employment taxes), which is about the same percentage that nearly every self-employed person will pay on their income, even those who only made $50 Thousand. So while it looks like a lot to say I paid $1.5 Million in taxes, it's actually not any more, percentage-wise, than, say, Joe the Plumber pays.
What if I were to have a windfall of $1 Million, and the current tax laws (which I claim are unfairly tilted toward the wealthy) will allow me to shuttle that money into my favorite tax-free charities without paying any tax on it.
In the process, I don't get a "charitable deduction", but I get something even better: I get lots of priceless publicity as a benefactor to these charities, and I don't have to claim the windfall as income. So it looks like I am more generous than I actually am.
If I chose not to use the loophole (which I have despised), and did claim the windfall as income, and then made the donations directly, I'd have to pay an extra $14,700. But, instead, I redirect it and "save" the money for the charities, instead of "giving" it to the government.
So in this fantasy, I, a millionaire several times over, who is campaigning to close loopholes and raise taxes on "the rich", take the loophole and avoid paying any taxes at all on $1 Million dollars.
Now, pretend all that is true, and that it isn't me, but the President of the United States.
Welcome to reality.
That $1 million dollars bought a ton of PR for the man who is expected to spend a record One Billion Dollars running for relection.
You can read the rest here.
This isn't about a political changing of the mind, which anyone can understand even if they don't agree.
This is like if Donald Trump complained that the law allows companies to file for bankruptcy (no offense or criticism intended toward Mr Trump, just trying to present a sort of balanced comparison).
This is about saying one thing and deliberately doing the opposite. No matter whether it is a Democrat or Republican in the White House, no matter whether one agrees or disagrees with a president's policies, this kind of behavior is unacceptable from any elected official.
And especially from the President of the United States.
(HT Instapundit for many of the original links, and for a brilliant proposal to elevate robust fairness in the tax system.)