As offensive as this statement is to my sense of logic, the second part of Obama's talking point bothers me even more...the President's insistence that the wealthy "give up their tax cuts" makes me want to smack somebody. The attitude inherent to this is that the government is "giving" individuals money by "giving them a tax cut." Actually, friends, would you like to know how much of your paycheck is your money? Let's do an exercise:
Let's take a person in the top tax bracket, which is currently 35% (note that under Clinton, that tax rate was 40%) , who earns $1,000,000 income each year, Mr. John Q. Taxpayer.
According to President Obama, of that $1,000,000, that person owns $600,000 of it, the government owns $400,000 of it, and the government benevolently gives that person an additional $50,000 of it via a "tax cut."
Let me ask you a question: How much of that money ACTUALLY belongs to that person? (Hint: the answer is not $650,000 of it. It's also not $600,000 of it.)
Second part of the question: How much of that money ACTUALLY belongs to the government? (Hint: The answer is not $350,000. It's also not $400,000.) Are you ready to know the answer?
$1,000,000 of that money belongs to Mr. John Q. Taxpayer. Every penny of it belongs to Mr. Taxpayer. Now, does the government have the authority to take some of that money via taxes? Under our Constitution it does have that authority, and Mr. Taxpayer is required to pay that money as a citizen of the United States. But it's still the taxpayer's money. The government has the authority to tax, but it doesn't make it the government's money.
President Obama, however, believes not only that whatever portion of your money the government taxes belongs to the government, he acts like he believes ALL your money is the government's money. His entire attitude is backwards. That's why he thinks "tax cuts" (that are really set tax rates that have been in place eleven years, as we discussed Friday) "cost the government money." He sees letting people keep their own money as an expense for the government.
The only way confiscating less of a person's money costs the government money is if that money belonged to the government in the first place. That's like me telling Kellogg Corporation claiming me choosing to not buy Eggo Waffles costs them money. If the money doesn't belong to you in the first place, not getting that money from the person who it does belong to does not equate a loss for you.
Bottom line, and I cannot hammer this home enough: tax dollars are not the government's money. The government is granted stewardship over that money. This is not the same thing as the government owning that money. But as a liberal, Mr. Obama simply either does not or chooses to not understand this fact.
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