Friday, February 11, 2011

Redistribution, Gays, Unions, and Trump

In a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Obama said that he is not trying to redistribute people's money and that he has not raised anyone's taxes and he has actually cut taxes.

How did anyone get the idea that he is a redistributionist in the first place? Maybe it came from an interview he gave before the election where he said that the Bill of Rights does not go far enough in allowing the government to redistribute wealth and that we need a second Bill of Rights. Or it could be from his answer to Joe the Plumber when he talked about taking more from the well-off in order to give others a leg up. Or it might be from his campaign promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts, but only for people making more than $200,000.

What about the other parts? Has he raised taxes? Yes. One of his first official acts was to sign into law an increase in cigarette taxes. More important, the President insisted that Obamacare would help cut the deficit. How? By raising taxes more than it raises spending. That's hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases that the President forgot about.

Has he lowered taxes? Yes, a bit, temporarily. Part of the stimulus created a tax credit of up to $400 on individuals ($800 on couples). It phased out starting at incomes of $75,000 ($150,000 for couples) and it was only in effect for 2009 and 2010.

Also, the Bush tax cuts were extended for everyone. By Washington standards, not raising someone's taxes is a tax cut. Obama was against this, referring to the Republicans as "hostage-takers" for forcing the deal on him.

So, President Obama is a redistributionist but he is a very poor one.


There is some debate about the inclusion of gays at this year's CPAC (conservative) convention. Conservatives need to pay more attention to Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Barbara Bush (George W. Bush's daughter). The country is becoming increasingly more accepting of gays. Democrats realized that being anti-gun cost them elections. The Republicans need to figure this out about gays. When the economy improves and social issues start becoming more important, being anti-gay could knock the Republicans back to minority status.


In Ohio, John Kasich is promoting some anti-union legislation. Some of this is aimed at helping the state and cities balance their budgets. Some of it is probably pay-back for a nasty election campaign. The unions should not be surprised. They spent months running ads that claimed that Kasich only wanted to become governor so that he could outsource more jobs.


Donald Trump is considering running for president as a Republican. Can we give him to the Democrats?

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