I’m not particularly happy about the GOP’s compromise with Obama and I derive no particular pleasure in the fact that the left is furious at Obama over the deal, but it is that phenomenon I wish to briefly address.
Conservatives unhappy with the deal are upset over things like extension of the unemployment benefits, which they don’t believe will help the recipients in the long run, but are sure will exacerbate our exploding national debt.
But what about the angry left? Why are they so mad at Obama over this? Well, I don’t think it’s because he reneged on his promise to stick it to the “wealthy” – those filthy rich families earning $250,000 or more per year. Leftists, being ends-justifies-the-means sorts don’t get unduly exercised over deceits, broken promises and the like in service to the cause. No, it has to involve the substance of the deal itself.
Extending the Bush tax rates for the highest income earners infuriates the left. Before the deal was consummated, MoveOn.org ran a video ad complaining bitterly about it. After the deal was announced they became even more apoplectic.
Just think about this. You surely don’t think for a minute that the left is angry because of the $700 billion of revenue they say this extension will cost. If revenue, deficits and debt were their concerns they would hate Obama’s guts long before now, not to mention that they would be focusing on the much greater loss of revenue the rate extensions for all other income brackets will cause.
No, it has nothing to do with the alleged losses of revenues. It has to do with their frustration at not being able to punish the “rich.” I am convinced they are more driven by the negative of sticking it to the “wealthy” than they are helping others. This is not a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It’s a matter of just robbing Peter to punish him for faring better in “life’s lottery.” It’s the same mentality that drove their former hero, candidate Barack Obama, to confess to Charlie Gibson that he favored increases in capital gains tax rates despite empirical evidence that such rate increases decreased revenues because “it’s a matter of fairness.” You see, in the leftist’s mind, the concept of “fairness” is satisfied not only if you take from some and give to others, but if you punish everyone just to make sure you stick it to the wealthy.
I think that’s a sick mindset and I think we should recognize it for what it is.
What’s the end of this kind of thinking, after all? The “wealth” already pay way more in income taxes than all other income brackets – way more. Their marginal rates will still be higher with this extension. At what point would the socialist confiscators believe fairness had actually been achieved were they dictatorially running the show?
For all the moralizing and sermonizing we hear from the left, I rarely hear those of us on the right countering their moral arguments either defending the moral superiority of free market systems or counterpunching the left by pointing out their own immoral urges that drive them to want to punish a group of people. How is that morally defensible? They’re not all driven by such motives, but significant numbers are, which makes this worthy of our consideration.