Barack Obama

Barack Obama, Class Warrior?

If there's class warfare going on, Obama is not going to get any medals.

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Someday, when today's adults are old and gray, their grandchildren will sit down and ask, "What did you do in the class war?" You may not have noticed, but it seems we are in the midst of one.

On this point, Republican candidates and officeholders are in agreement. Newt Gingrich accuses President Barack Obama of advocating "class warfare and bureaucratic socialism." Mitt Romney says he is trying "to divide America." Rick Santorum? "Class warfare." Michele Bachmann? Ditto.

Now a hedge-fund manager has become a Fox News hero for writing the president a letter depicting him as the evil twin of Fidel Castro. Obama, charges Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors, is engaging in "desperate demagoguery," treating the rich as a "selfish and unfeeling lot who must be subjugated by the force of the state," employing a strategy "that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists."

Maybe cold showers are in order. Obama, it's true, has proposed a small increase in tax rates on the wealthy, but nothing draconian by historical standards. His purportedly populous speech Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kan., had his usual quota of dubious data, blame for his predecessor and economic folly. Incendiary, however, it was not.

His stress was not on punishing the rich or getting revenge on those who caused the financial crisis. It was about enlarging the middle class. His rhetoric consisted of lines like, "We're greater together than we are on our own" and "I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot."

If there's class warfare going on, Obama is not going to get any medals. Even when he laments rising inequality, his remedies don't involve punitive redistribution.

His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit. And let's face it: If he and Congress aren't going to make drastic cuts in spending—which they are not—more revenue will be needed, and it's not going to come from poor people, because they don't have any money.

It's been so long—blessedly long—since mainstream Democrats preached class warfare that Republicans have forgotten what it sounds like. Franklin Roosevelt said of business and finance titans, "They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred."

Harry Truman, now revered by conservatives, attacked "Republican gluttons of privilege" who had "stuck a pitchfork in the farmer's back" and favored "a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship." He also nationalized the steel industry.

When steel companies raised prices, President John F. Kennedy fumed publicly, "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." He responded by ordering wiretaps on the phones of executives.

But scorching populism exploiting mass envy is almost extinct in the Democratic Party. President Jimmy Carter didn't follow the tradition. Neither did Bill Clinton. Obama's cautious pragmatism makes him the despair of the Occupy Wall Street legions.

His proposed tax increases fall short of soaking the rich. Under FDR, the top individual income rate was 94 percent. Under Kennedy, it was 91 percent. Under Lyndon Johnson, it was 70 percent. Under Reagan, it was 50 percent. Obama, the blood-curdling class warrior, would make it 39.6 percent.

He reflects the evolution of his party, which favors a broad social safety net but accepts the need for largely free markets. Price controls, once beloved by Democrats, have long since ceased being an option. Breaking up big companies is off the table. But Republicans won't take "yes" for an answer.

If there were ever a time when hatred of rich capitalists and corporations would be expected, it's now, in the wake of a financial crisis and brutal economic downturn. If it's out there, though, it's not manifesting itself in White House policy.

Obama is unquestionably a liberal who believes in preserving the main surviving elements of the New Deal and the Great Society, such as Social Security, food stamps and Head Start. There is plenty to criticize in his economic program—from misguided stimulus extravaganzas to the auto industry bailout to subsidies for expensive "green energy." But he's not the radical of right-wing mythology.

The reality should be plenty for his critics to worry about. When they read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, they should remember the section of the bookstore where they found it: fiction.

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  1. This piece does not reflect the typical bent here at Reason. Even knocks Atlas Shrugged as we watch it play out in real time around us. Sure Tony’s moronic ass will love this tripe.

    1. Maybe Chapman is trying to get Tony to donate.

      1. I think he’s just pissing his pants because other H&R writers get more comments on thier threads.

    2. Chapman’s point is valid and can be seen in other western countries, such as my own, Australia.

      Here, the equivalent of the Democrats, the Australian Labor Party, lost a lot of its base as union participation declined in the general population. It reached out about 40 years ago to the lefty students etc. When it took power in 1983 it actually was responsible for a massive deregulation in the 1980s. While there are still pockets on the left of the party of old-school class warfare and socialist fantasies, the ALP generally accepts the need for free(ish) markets. In effect, it lost the argument over socialism and it knows it.

      So now what does the party stand for? Its old left vote is being eroded by the Greens, and its traditional voters, now newly middle-class, don’t feel weird voting for the right. So the ALP waffles about fairness, tries to reregulate as a sop to the unions which now have a disproportionate influence upon it, invokes glorious leaders of yesteryear, spunks away taxpayer money on feel-good dumb projects, and tries to buy off the electorate with bribes, but without being able to articulate any profound vision of the relationship between government and the citizen. No wonder Obama and our PM get on well – they’re desperately trying to work out who they are and what they do, with the ghosts of their predecessors mocking them.

      Not that the right-wing option here is much better – like the Republicans, they talk the talk if it suits them but rarely walk it.

      1. His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit.
        —————————-
        ^^^this is where Chapman’s “point” falls on its ass. NO ONE believes that Congress, any Congress, would any additional revenue that might accrue from a tax hike for purposes of debt reduction. The money will simply be spent. Period.

    3. This piece also does not reflect reality in the slightest. This isn’t class warfare? I don’t hear envy and hatred every time Obama speaks? I must be imagining it.

      The idea of any tax increase closing the budget gap (not that we have a Federal Budget) is ludicrous. We are spending too much.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ

      It’s been proven time after time that lower rates increase economic growth and eventually government revenue. Obama isn’t intersted in that story. He also isn’t in what it does to small businesses and their investment in growth.

      1. I know this is anathema to some people, but lowering taxes and decreasing regulation does not lead to higher tax revenue. Maintaining low taxes and limiting regulation leads to higher tax receipts. Businesses know any bone they get today could be yanked back whenever it becomes politically profitable, e.g., tax breaks for private jets.

        1. Yes – How do you think businesses are reacting to this moron constantly talking about the need for higher taxes? Everyone with money is just going to wait until he goes away.

    4. Not much at all wrong with Chapman’s article. All he did was state the truth that Obama is bad on class warfare, worse than recent democratic presidents but not nearly as bad as in the past.

      I would have been a little harsher on Obama for dragging us back in that direction but there have always been signs of it in the Dems, especially when trying to get elected. But Chapman is correct that you always have shit like this in the middle of a recession and they always blame the wrong people/things for the recession. They may be wrong to blame it on imaginary deregulation, but if that’s what they believe, of course they will be down on business instead of down on government.

      This article was about class warfare, not about Obamacare or Gitmo. Obama is the worst president we have had in a long time as far as being pro-government and therefore one of the most anti-libertarian presidents in awhile.

      But Bush was right up there with him.

      If you read what Chapman wrote it is mostly correct as far as the democratic party and where they stand.

  2. “Exploiting mass envy is almost extinct in the Democratic Party.”

    I knew OWS was a right-wing conspiracy.

    1. Has he watched an Obama speech – ever?

      1. This article seems like a case of “If I say this shit enough then everyone else will eventually believe it too.”

  3. There are some who say scorching populism exploiting mass envy is almost extinct in the Democratic Party. Let me be clear: we will continue to flog that horse until it turns to dust.

  4. So….? Does this mean that Obamanian economic policy is not too hot, not too cold, but just right! Why complain?

    Chapman is straining a little too hard here to do the pox-on-both-houses dance. The Obama gang has definitely turned up the rhetorical heat with the fairness whining and rich hunts, although, con artists that they are, they have proven to be the croninest of the crony capitalists.

    1. He just needs to reassure his Chicago social circles that he is still club-able.

  5. Somebody didn’t get their invitation to Friday night’s Georgetown bash.

    1. not sure if serious

  6. Is this a joke? If I’m following the logic here, Hitler wasn’t really a mass murderer bc Stalin and Mao killed considerably more people. Obama is incompetent and people aren’t buying a lot of what he’s selling, but he’s not lacking for want. At the risk of being associated with glen beck, the reason Obama isn’t proposing fdr taxe rates on the rich is bc it’s out of the Overton window (that and he’s bought and paid for by the ‘super’ wealthy. I might buy he’s not really waging a war on the 1% but he’s darned sure trying on the middle class, particularly the upper middle class. All those regulations too btw might not compute in the income tax category, but they sure cost a lot of money and he’s not paying for them with his bank account. Ok he’s Hugo Chavez, but he’s darrn sure nt Milton Friedman either. Then again, since I’m a supporter of city/states and don’t get worked up about not being able to Gambol to my hearts content, I’m sure white sitting bull will claim I’m slef-contradictory so I’m wrong out of the box. Figured I’d squeeze in an inb4 on the Gambol

    1. Someone explain the Gambol meme please?

      1. Remember the wire when asked how to find Omar? He was told Stand put on the corner with a big brick, you’ll meet him soon enough. Just hang out here and make sense, you’ll find out soon enough (or search for Gambol and white Indian and note the correlation)

  7. Uhhhh, I realize after the fact preview is my friend. Autocorrect on the iPad murdered me…honest, I’m not as editorially challenged as my last post would lead you to believe.

  8. His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit. And let’s face it: If he and Congress aren’t going to make drastic cuts in spending?which they are not?more revenue will be needed, and it’s not going to come from poor people, because they don’t have any money.

    Science H Logic! Fuck off Chapman you fucking turd! Fuck off, Fuck off, fuck off!!

    Chapman simply must be sucking someone’s dick at Reason. They can’t be posting his articles for their content.

    1. Someone had to take up Weigel’s place in the center of the Reality Distortion Field. It’s for the good of the Universe.

      “But what of Lazarus? What of Lazarus?”

      1. That was one of the few episodes that I recognized as bad when I was a kid.

    2. It’s ridiculous to even be talking tax increases. The problem is the government’s, and they need to solve it themselves.

    3. the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit.

      Bzzt. Wrong. The 2005 budget would be balanced with today’s tax revenue. Cuts are all you need.

      1. Chapman has to be the only person who believes than increased revenue would be used toward debt reduction. When has that EVER happened?

  9. And 1984 is also in the fiction section, get it, because it’s not reality. Keep that in mind next time you assholes complain about some fictional police state or our wonderful, helpful warriors fighting the tide of terrorism with rape scanners and cavity searches of octogenarians. The WoD is necesary because, guess what, A Brave New World is also in the fiction section, I mean, wait, what? Soma bad, or something.

  10. I appreciate the facts and historical perspective that the author brings up in this article. The broader point, however, is that our current president does seem to be pursuing numerous policies that focus power at the federal (even the executive) level, in a way that alarms many who are cautious of government generally. To the point of class warfare, it may be here that the president’s *rhetoric* is more extreme/divisive than his policy goals are radical, yet I think many are disappointed by the apparent lack of leadership this rhetoric displays.

  11. “His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit. And let’s face it: If he and Congress aren’t going to make drastic cuts in spending?which they are not?more revenue will be needed, and it’s not going to come from poor people, because they don’t have any money.”

    That’s the whole point, Chapman.

    This president will never make the drastic cuts–so long as he can raise more revenue with higher taxes.

    Barack Obama will never make the drastic cuts until there is no other option. Until our budget problems get as bad as Italy’s, Barack Obama will not make the drastic cuts.

    So we have to take tax increases off the table…

    The solution to a drunken sailor spending all of our money is not to give him more of our money to spend–no matter what the drunken sailor says.

    And Barack Obama is the drunken sailor in that analogy. The only time he will ever cut back his spending is when there’s no more money to spend. Giving him more revenue to spend doesn’t even put off the inevitable–it accelerates us down that destructive path.

    Starve the beast!

    1. How do you starve a beast that can raise the limit on it’s own credit card?

      1. “How do you starve a beast that can raise the limit on it’s own credit card?”

        Not by giving it more money to spend!

        Can anybody here imagine Congress and the president–flush with cash from tax increases–deciding that since they have so much money to spend, that now would be a great time to make drastic spending cuts?

        1. Not by giving it more money to spend!

          How does that help? It will simply borrow what it is not given.

          1. It will simply borrow what it is not given.

            So we fight that too!

            We need to take as many options–other than slashing spending–off the table as possible. They will not cut spending until there is no other option left to them. They will not slash the level they borrow until the option of raising taxes is no longer on the table either.

            Italy and Greece only slashed their budgets because they had no other option left to them. The only difference between us and them is that the markets are still willing to finance our debt for the time being. I’d rather not wait until we get into Italy and Greece’s situation…

            Eventually there won’t be any other option but to slash spending dramatically. I’d rather not wait for that happen. I’d rather slash spending now. Doing what we can to encourage drastically slashing spending is the correct strategy…

            And raising taxes is the opposite of encouraging drastically slashing spending.

          2. Sarcasmic, I’ve discussed this with you before and I think we just have a sincere disagreement, but I just wanted to give an example of how “starving the beast” does work.
            Greece.
            Spain.
            Portugal.

            These governments have been forced into austerity measures simply because they cannot raise money anymore through bonds. At some point, the government -has- to quit spending money it doesn’t have simply because nobody will give them any more money.

            While I realize that our credit makes this limit probably somewhere around the 20 trillion range (before we really ramp up inflating it away), it’s still a finite number that can force the government to take actions that it does not believe are in its interest.

            1. My point is that “starving the beast” in the context of restricting revenue only increases the debt.
              Unless the point is to get the debt so high that the bond market collapses.
              The reason Greece, Spain and Portugal have been forced into austerity measures is that they can’t inflate their currency.
              The US government can.

              1. Only to a certain point before our creditors start raising hell though.

                Yes, we agree that the only thing that restricting revenues will do is create more debt; but at some point the debt will become so massive that it will force action that the government would otherwise not be willing to undertake, which I believe is the only way to actually get our government to take the necessary actions at this point.

                Of course, I could be wrong and we might elect a congress willing to significantly cut government spending. I think believing that would be delusional at best, though.

                1. The difference between what’s happening in Europe and what’s happening in the US is that the European countries cannot inflate their way out of the mess. The citizens are not being punished with devalued currency.
                  In the US inflation, not austerity, will be the solution to the debt problem.
                  Americans will be punished with a devalued currency.
                  Can you say Zimbabwe?

                  1. I’m not so sure about that; Soviet Russia didn’t successfully inflate away its debt. I think that our creditors will really hinder us inflating away our debt unless, like you said, we go the Zimbabwe route, and simply quit giving a fuck what our money is(n’t) worth.

                    1. I didn’t say it would be done with success.

                      I am very pessimistic about the future of this country.

                      I foresee the currency being inflated into worthlessness, a total collapse of most everything, a Constitutional Convention to deal with the crisis, and a new Constitution being written that looks more like this than the one we have now.

                    2. Sadly, I have very much the same outlook. Possibly worse; an actual civil war.

                    3. When I was a teenager for some reason I thought there would be a civil war in this country by the time I turned 40.

                      My 40th birthday comes in 2013.

                      I’ve got a feeling that this next presidential election might be the last.

                    4. sarcasmic, I agree with you.

              2. “My point is that “starving the beast” in the context of restricting revenue only increases the debt.”

                If people were willing to suffer high interest rates indefinitely–which I doubt will last for long…

                Think about it. The politicians of Greece and Italy are choosing to suffer widespread rioting in the streets rather than even higher interest rates, which in reality means even more limited access to borrowing.

                They can’t borrow as much as they used to at the interest rates the market is charging them now.

                I see no other realistic means to bring spending under control. If we could get deep tax cuts through Congress right now, I’d support that as a step in the right direction!

                If you can explain to me how raising taxes, on the other hand, leads to less spending by the White House and Congress, I’d love to hear it. But I need somebody to explain to me how the mechanics of that work–because I don’t see how giving our government more money to spend will make them spend less money.

                It would be one thing if our interest rates were soaring or something. If I’m not mistaken, becasue of the Euro crisis, the rates on our treasuries are lower now than they were when the ratings agencies were downgrading us!

        2. Shit, I hit post on that too soon and double…

          I blame the squirrels!

          Anyway, the other part of this is in regards to economic growth. Anybody that wants to raise taxes–even as we’re starving for economic growth?

          Even as the world economy teeters to the point that the Euro may not survive?

          Needs to have their head examined.

          Looking to places like Sweden as an example, one of the reasons to pursue fiscal austerity is so that you can slash taxes dramatically during economic downturns.

          As relatively socialist as Sweden is, they were running a budget surplus before the downturn. They’re not a Euro country, and when the downturn hit, they were able to slash taxes pretty thoroughly.

          But the idea that we would actually raise taxes in the face of anemic growth seems absurd to me.

          Even if somebody around here thinks that Barak Obama raising tax revenues will lead to fiscal austerity somehow? There’s a separate argument to be made that this is not the time for that strategy.

      2. if Obama gets 4 more years, then he’ll spend like there’s no tomorrow, because there won’t be…

  12. If only the internet would take Mr. Chapman’s job too.

    1. This. I wish this guy would go join Dave Weigel over at Slate where he belongs.

      1. I think that having people that disagree with us around is a good thing.

        Oh, and comparing him to Weigel is cruel. He runs intellectual circles around Weigel. I stopped comin’ around when Weigel was here–his posts hurt my eyes.

        1. I think that having people that disagree with us around is a good thing.

          I sort of see your point, but it’s not as though it’s hard to find people who disagree with us. The media is chock full of people who support higher taxes and bigger government.

    2. He really is the worst “libertarian” writer. Period.

      1. I assumed this was a guest writer parroting some DNC talking points.

        1. Well, you aren’t far off. I think Reason only employs Chapman as a sort of charity case.

  13. You know, there’s been lots of talk over the past few years about both greed and envy and class warfare. Even this is a smoke screen. Both greed and envy are part of the human makeup and always will be. The problem lies with a system that facilitates and institutionalizes both of these inclinations. The desire to live/prosper at the expense of others, while not admirable, are certainly an aspect of being human and we have in place a system of mechanisms which can be used by those in a position to do so to inflict their greed and envy on others. Without such a system both of these inclinations would just be impulses in people’s hearts and not a tangibly manifested aspect of our civilizations.

  14. This is weak fucking sauce.

    more revenue will be needed, and it’s not going to come from poor people, because they don’t have any money

    Bullshit. What percent of federal income tax filers pay no federal income tax, Chapman? 40%? 45%? how much revenue would they were forced to pay thier “fair share”?

    Under FDR, the top individual income rate was 94 percent. Under Kennedy, it was 91 percent. Under Lyndon Johnson, it was 70 percent. Under Reagan, it was 50 percent. Obama, the blood-curdling class warrior, would make it 39.6 percent

    Irrelevent. What were income tax rates on the rich before that? 0%? Why not go back to that?

    Seriously, this should have been posted at HuffPo, not here.

    1. Under FDR, the top individual income rate was 94 percent. Under Kennedy, it was 91 percent. Under Lyndon Johnson, it was 70 percent. Under Reagan, it was 50 percent. Obama, the blood-curdling class warrior, would make it 39.6 percent

      and loopholes and tax-shelters back then were a-plenty.

      1. Indeed, people who march out **marginal tax rates** rather than **effective tax rates** to make to make the argument that “things used to be worse” are either tax-illiterate or dishonest.

    2. Honestly, I don’t get this. Obama isn’t able, legally or politically, to drastically increase taxes. He’s been fanning the flames of hate against the “rich” most of the time he’s been in office, and he’s clearly testing the waters to see whether people will allow tax increases to even be discussed.

      We’re idiots–all of us–to do anything other than demand massive spending cuts with no increase in taxes.

    3. Irrelevent. What were income tax rates on the rich before that? 0%? Why not go back to that?

      Of course, but we also had strong tarrifs, a much more robust industrial sector, immigration restrictions, a far less Byzantine bureaucracy, and spent far less per capita than we do today.

      The question, really, is whether the American people are willing to pay for the services they demand–rich, poor, or otherwise. And while your point regarding that income tax was at 0% and we could still pay our bills is noted, the fact of the matter is that the conditions which existed at that time aren’t present anymore.

    4. The question isn’t the nominal tax rate. Its the effective tax rate. Those confiscatory levels were completely fictional. Nobody paid them. They sheltered their money.

      And will again if tax rates go up to those levels.

      1. It’s really funny how many people who want high taxes keep pointing at that 90% figure without realizing how low the effective rate was back then.

        Of course, even as a nominal rate, that’s offensive to everything this country stands for.

  15. Can anybody here imagine Congress and the president in the future–flush with cash from tax increases–deciding that since they have so much money to spend, that now would be a great time to make drastic spending cuts?

    1. No – which is why they should only be given so much allowance money to play with.

  16. Where are my morning links?

    1. Cavaneau stole them yesterday.

  17. I’m waiting for the Chapman article explaining that since George W. Bush’s rhetoric wasn’t incendiary and talking about increasing freedom for Iraqis, then he couldn’t possibly have committed actual warfare either.

    While the President may have spoken about “enlarging the middle class” it’s entirely impossible to close the deficit only from taxing “the rich” as defined by the President. Without reducing spending– something that the President opposes– it will have to come from taxing the middle class. So the President supports shrinking the middle class at the same time as he talks about growing it.

  18. It’s been proven time and again that broadening the tax base is what maximizes revenue, not digging deeper in to the existing tax base.

    Yet we never hear anything about that (except Cain’s 999 tax plan).

    1. Right – so they’ve no choice but to make the 45% of filers paying NOTHING to start ponying up.

      1. I’d settle for them stopping giving cash to the 45%.

      2. They’re hardly paying “nothing”. Do you know what the corporate income tax is? Do you know what payroll taxes are? Do you know what the gas tax is? Do you know what tariffs are?

        What percentage of the federal budget is paid for through personal income taxes?

  19. Did somebody at Reason leave the doors unlocked for the lunatics to roll in and post on your website? What is this tripe? I don’t depend on whatever Republican candidates are at the top of the charts to understand what’s going on and clearly Obama is utilizing class warfare. Is this so difficult for the author to see?

    I was bamboozled by Reason’s evident flights of fancy when so many of you endorsed Obama in the last election but it appears now that you’re going completely off the rails.

    Was it the recent speech by Obama that so many people are praising right now? Wow, our president gave an inspiring speech! No matter that the economy is still in the dumper! We just need great speeches!

    Good luck with whatever the hell your political philosophy is at this moment in time. You guys are quickly losing any credibility you ever had.

  20. “Under FDR, the top individual income rate was 94 percent. Under Kennedy, it was 91 percent. Under Lyndon Johnson, it was 70 percent. Under Reagan, it was 50 percent. Obama, the blood-curdling class warrior, would make it 39.6 percent.”

    That’s an apples and oranges comparision.

    Those are NOMINAL tax rates that don’t take into account the differences in tax deductions and tax shelters in existence between those time periods. It is the effecetive tax rate that people pay after availing themselves of those deductions – not the nominal tax rate.

    Nobody was paying 94% of their income in taxes.

    1. I meant to say it is the effective tax rate that people pay that counts – not the nominal tax rate.

  21. Reason picked a bad week to run their webathon. Had they only known Chapman had a ball buster ready to post.

  22. His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit. And let’s face it: If he and Congress aren’t going to make drastic cuts in spending?which they are not?more revenue will be needed, and it’s not going to come from poor people, because they don’t have any money.

    Chapman, you are a fucking idiot. It’s coming from where its been punted for the last forty years, the next generation down the road. The rich are paying a third of their income now and it only covers half of current government cost. Where do you go from there, genius? You want them to liquidate capital good assets to make up the difference? Jesus man, just do us a favor and shut the fuck up. Can’t believe you got paid for that crap.

    1. And any chance they’ll actually curb spending if they did raise the tax rate in response. That is just stupid to think so, Chapman. It would only let up any pressure they feel at the moment to constrain themselves. Jesus, your just, God, I’m disgusted with you and Reason, Chapman.

    2. The rich aren’t “paying a third of their income now.” They are paying a third of their wage income above a certain dollar amount. Below that dollar amount, they pay less. They also pay less for their non-wage income.

      Why on earth would an increase of 3 percentage points in the top marginal tax rate on wage income cause anyone to have to “liquidate capital good assets”?

      1. If you will take two seconds to take notice I only said ‘government’ as I knew some retard would come around and try to get pedantic when it is not possible because rates very by state.

      2. Why on earth would an increase of 3 percentage points in the top marginal tax rate on wage income cause anyone to have to “liquidate capital good assets”?

        It is not possible to pay off the debt without doing so within this generational frame work. I was addressing the Chapman rhetoric in the italics above. That is why I put it there, ‘tard.

        1. Impressive argumentation skills, Chris.

      3. I know people in that 1% catagory and every penny they have is tied up, thats how they got there. If you raise their taxes the people I know will have to sell off assets or fire someone to make up the difference.

        1. Let me be sure that I understand what you’re saying. An increase in taxes of 3 cents for every dollar of wage income earned over $250,000 would require people to either sell assets or fire an employee. That’s 3 cents per dollar of income. And it only applies to wage income, not investment income. No one is talking about touching their assets.

          That makes very little sense to me.

          1. But it is true though. he has lots assets but in this economy a lot of those assets are upside down leaving him unable to get loans for required maintenance so 100% of his sizable salary is now tied up with that and taxes. So any change will hurt.

  23. I’m sure class warfare was the last thing on Obama’s mind when he embraced OWS and their “1%” smear label.

  24. I know what we can do. Since so much value is in our real estate why don’t we just turn over the holdings of the rich to the goverment. That way we’ll have bigger parks, and what is more important than our national parks?

    Why do you hate my kid so much Chapman, that you would advocate policies that condemn his future?

    Why don’t you get it over with, and just shoot him in between the eyes instead? Are you a coward and prefer to fuck him over with this passive aggressive nonsense instead?

    1. Even for this board, this is a pretty epic meltdown.

  25. Methinks Chapman is trying to get in a lefty girl’s pants. Or perhaps two lefty girls’ pants. At the same time.

  26. I emailed Reason to inform them that some Mother Jones hack gained root access to their site and published an op-ed.

  27. His purportedly populous speech…

    So, Mr. Chapman, exactly how many people were in Mr. Obama’s speech?
    I swear Chapman is trying to become the Henry Payne of Reason’s prose writers.

  28. If it talks like class warfare and it acts like class warfare, it probably is class warfare: Fuck you, Chapman.

  29. What’s with Reason’s progressive bent lately?

  30. Obama’s cautious pragmatism makes him the despair of the Occupy Wall Street legions.

    Is that why he borrowed their “99%” rhetoric?

  31. “His advocacy of higher marginal income tax rates focuses on the need to increase revenue to reduce the federal deficit. And let’s face it: If he and Congress aren’t going to make drastic cuts in spending?which they are not?more revenue will be needed, and it’s not going to come from poor people, because they don’t have any money.”

    Well the increases he is proposing don’t come close to closing current deficits. Your two solutions miss about 90% of the population. If we’re going to close the deficit with revenue increases only, it’s going to come from the middle class. They don’t have tons of money individually, but there are a ton of them. There simply aren’t enough rich people to close the deficit by taxing them alone.

  32. Did I log into the wrong site this morning? What is this Socialist bullshit?
    Chapman is the Useful Idiot.

  33. What Chapman conveniently omits is that Cooperman was a fervent Obama supporter in 2008, and is writing to explain why he can no longer buy into the “Change We Can Believe In” con.

    Context counts.

  34. Ah Steve Orwell’s 1984 was fiction too. So what lame point are you trying to make? He’s waiting to get reelected , or don’t you know there is an election next year ?

  35. This is easily the most idiotic article I have ever read at Reason.

    Obama has pushed the US toward a financial abyss by backing an explosive expansion of the federal government at the expense of free markets and individual freedom.

    And Chapman argues that he is not a radical.

    That’s insane.

  36. Sorry Steve! This is class warfare. In terms of the times in which we live and the state we are in – class warfare !. And frankly I’m all for partisan bickering. I want Obama’s ideas, policies and dreams to be openly argued . . . and fail. I was brought up to write a compare and contrast paper for schoolwork. His taxes won’t be seen until they imposed on my great grandchildren. Steve – you are wrong.

  37. Obama is such a complete and total dweeb.

    http://www.ano-net.tk

  38. I think what Chapman has missed here and thats the way Obama wants it is he is not directly attacking the corporations but he does continually attack the republicans and blame them for protecting the corporations. hence hinting that if it wasn’t for the republicans stalling us, we would then be able to do more to the corporations like regulate and tax them.

    1. I’d say what Chapman has missed, either by genuinely missing it or by conveniently ignoring it, is that no one has taken more campaign money from teh evil filthy corporations than Obama. What POTUS counts on is his voters being stupid. Consider the payroll tax extension proposal – regardless of one’s feeling about SS, that’s what the payroll tax funds. Yet, which side routinely accuses the other of trying to starve SS and Medicare?

  39. Republicans want to bring back Jim Crow laws…just ask Barbara Lee or the NAACP.

    IMO, Jim Crow is happening already, just the other day on the way to the mall I saw a Black woman sitting at the back of the bus because all the seats up front were taken. I think the GOP is purposely pursuing policy that takes people out of their cars so more people will take the seats up front on the bus before it gets to the Black neighborhood.

    So then after arriving at my destination I was walking through the shopping mall, there were three water fountains and two of them were occupied by White people. However I noticed a Black man (must have been thirsty) was heading for the unoccupied drinking fountain. I suspect its because GOP policies lead to prosperity for Blacks and some have moved to the suburbs. It’s a secret right-wing conspiracy by Republicans to bring back segregation at the water fountains. Just like the Republicans push energy and social engineering policies to get more people out of their cars and onto the front seats of the bus – which starts out its route in the suburbs – so Blacks will have to sit in the back on the way into the big city the Republicans want us herded into.

    /sarcasm

    Actions really do speak louder than words but I’m pretty sure Democrats openly admit they want more people living in the cities using public transportation and their energy policy proves Democrats are at war with suburbia.

    1. sarcasm, but I can totally see the likes of the DNC woman saying that.

      1. Its getting so bad progressives have minorities *literally not just rhetorically but actually segregating themselves on campus. 😉

        How bizarre! yet there it is.

        * see Mika Brezinski for context

  40. What’s missing from this article is any understanding of the real subtext of Obama’s speech: the express repudiation of the Jeffersonian ideal of individual responsibility and free markets upon which this nation was founded. Quoth Obama: “Now, it’s a simple theory [free markets]. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”

    He’s completely wrong, of course: it always works, when it’s permitted to (unfortunately, in this country it’s been a long time since that was the case). That is the core of Obama’s message in Osawatomie, and it’s a profoundly “class warfare” message. That Reason Magazine, of all places, misses this is distressing, as it says that 99.9% of the rest of the country will miss it, too. This is how it starts.

    1. Did anyone think we would ever have a President that explicitly repudiated free markets in a major speech?

      I’m a cynical bastard, but I was shocked to hear Obama say of the free market ideology: “It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”

  41. You guys need to stop complaining about Chapman and realize that while not a true Libertarian, he’s a “gateway” libertarian for Democrats. Focus a little less on where you want to be and a little more on how you might get there. If you try being rational and informative in your (often legitimate) disagreement instead of mouthing off like jerky seventh graders.

    1. Tell me, what common ground is there between socialism and libertarianism?

      1. Re: anon,

        what common ground is there between socialism and libertarianism?

        Only hallowed ground. Besides that, nothing – there can’t be a reconcilition between a thief (i.e. a socialist) and a producer.

        1. Exactly my point on how believing that Chapman is a “gateway” libertarian for socialists is complete bullshit.

    2. Yes, because nothing is going to convince liberals to convince liberals of the importance of property rights, limited government and free enterprise like assuring them that concern about their violations of these principles is completely overblown and paranoid.

  42. The issue with raising taxes is not the absolute level, but the ineptitude of how it is spent.

    I for one, one of the “1%”, would be willing to pay a slightly higher rate AFTER the feds get their fiscal house in order and balance the budget. The increase would be used exclusively to pay down the debt so that hundreds of millions of dollars a year aren’t being used to pay interest on the debt but could be put to productive use.

    Until then, not only no, but hell no.

  43. I’d be happy if Obama were simply a demagogic class warrior. Reading his speech tells me he is an ignoramus when it comes to basic economics. Hiring more teachers is going to solve the recession? Really? When we already spend far more than ever on education?
    With nothing to show for it. Building factories to make running shoes that will, because of government regulation and unions, cost about $500 a pair? Allowing people with poor credit ratings to obtain zero down mortgages, part of the ingredients that led to the meltdown in 2008? What kind of stuff is he smoking? The least he could do is advocate legalizing pot.

  44. Obama is a multi-millionare, and any tax increases he proposes will hit him as hard as anyone else.

    It’s a curious kind of class warrior who puts the crosshairs on his own back.

    1. socialism is for the people, not the socialists

  45. Glad to see I’m not alone in my bewilderment.

    I have to think Chapman is either in someone’s pocket, or is just trying WAY too hard to be contrary.

    1. What he said

  46. If you aren’t wailing hysterically over Obama’s secret plan to imprison millionaires and feed them to poor black people, you aren’t being serious.

  47. “But scorching populism exploiting mass envy is almost extinct in the Democratic Party. President Jimmy Carter didn’t follow the tradition. Neither did Bill Clinton.”

    lolwut?

  48. Still a porn star and now a supermodel, she has the face ? and the body ? of an angel.

    One of the most famous models to come out of Japan in within the last 6 years, Maria Ozawa appears in bukkake films and still made the cover of FHM magazine. These are Impressive credentials for anyone, but not surprising when you see the perfect proportions of this cute little thing.

    A phenomenon on both YouTube and YouPorn – she is yin and yang, the best of two worlds. Sexy and innocent, sweet and arousing, and she loves shopping for shoes.

    Maria Ozawa is a unique Japanese icon and celebrity, in many different ways. And now she appears here, on Hegre-Art.

  49. Phew. I guess I can go to sleep until Obama politically has the ability to raise taxes to 70%.

  50. Thanks for this article Mr. Chapman, I had forgotten what a freaking moron you are. Now I remember

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  52. Thanks a lot for your post, it’s great information about Obama class warfare, I like that.

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