Tags: Obama | tax | wealthy | McTeague

Barron's: President Obama Wants Wealthy Taxpayers 'to Squeal'

Barron's: President Obama Wants Wealthy Taxpayers 'to Squeal'
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:10 AM

President Barack Obama has launched a new war on austerity, with the philosophy that "only the rich should be made to squeal," according to Barron's.

Fresh evidence of his determination to redistribute America’s wealth can be found in the 69th annual Economic Report of the President, a document that in the post-war era has “evolved into a highly partisan document that is 50 percent political propaganda, 50 percent self-serving data, and zero percent honest introspection,” according to Jim McTague, Barron’s Washington editor.

McTague said Obama’s latest version of the economic report was accompanied by a fresh burst of politicking by the White House. The administration is insisting that Congress roll back the looming automatic spending cuts it approved earlier following its 2011 partisan sequestration battles.

“President Barack Obama’s economic team is warning that the sudden return of fiscal austerity this fall, via automatic spending cuts to the federal budget, could slow the nation’s economy at the very worst juncture — just as it gets hit by head winds from a strengthening dollar and slower global growth,” McTague wrote.

Obama’s target is low income growth among what he calls the “bottom 90 percent” of Americans, who have seen their share of household income fall from 68 percent of the U.S. total to 53 percent since 1973.

The president’s solution is to spend rather than cut by hiking taxes from the upper 10 percent and businesses and redistributing it to everyone else through benefits, tax credits and free junior college, according to McTague. “Universal austerity is a nonstarter for him. Only the rich should be made to squeal.”

McTague wrote that Obama could benefit from reading the following bit of wisdom from a recent former president’s annual Economic Report: “Our strategy has been based, first and foremost, on a commitment to fiscal discipline. By first cutting and then eliminating the deficit, we have helped to create a virtuous cycle of lower interest rates, greater investment, more jobs, higher productivity, and higher wages. In the process we have gone from the largest deficits in history to the largest surpluses in history.”

Who said that? “Reagan? Not even close. Try President Bill Clinton’s final report,” McTague concluded.

CBS MoneyWatch wrote that the answer to what constitutes a fair tax rate in America may depend on who is doing the asking.

“The most popular justification for progressive taxes relies on the ‘ability to pay’ principle. Under this definition of equity, the ‘pain’ that each person experiences when paying taxes is the same,” wrote Mark Thoma, an economist and MoneyWatch contributor.

“Economists can predict what might happen to GDP, prices, employment, etc. when taxes are changed, although as supply-side tax cuts show, those predictions are often unreliable," Thoma wrote.

"But economists cannot say whether it's more or less fair to take a dollar from one person and give it to another (in effect what changing the degree of progressivity does). That's for all of us, through our political representatives, to decide.”

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President Barack Obama has launched a new war on austerity, with the philosophy that only the rich should be made to squeal, according to Barron's. Fresh evidence of his determination to redistribute America's wealth can be found in the 69th annual Economic Report of the President.
Obama, tax, wealthy, McTeague
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2015-10-25
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:10 AM
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