Today while taking a page out of Hugo Chavez’s book, Laura Ingraham accused Obama of being the devil for wanting to close loopholes and tax the rich.
Ingraham opined, Obama shouldn’t be condemning those who in her words, are “hard-working, ambitious, innovating,” and “work their buns off.”
Ingraham is advancing a classic Ayn Rand objective attitude. She assumes that wealthy people achieved their wealth because they are harder workers and smarter than the rest of us. What Ingraham fails to understand is that wealth is generational. According to Dr.Michael Zweig, professor at Stoneybrook, the number one determining factor of where someone will be when they are an adult is where their parents were when they entered adulthood. The United States of America is #10 in upward mobility.
My friend Jeff Howard reminded me of something I neglected to mention. Ingraham draws a line between being productive and wealthy. In other words, the free market rewards people who are productive, and pays them what they are worth. If this is so, how does Laura explain CEO pay. How is Angelo Mozzillo worth hundreds of millions of dollars when Countrywide Mortgage went bankrupt? How is Franklin Raines by any means a productive CEO- or Carly Fiorino, for that matter. CEOs in other countries are being paid 3 to 5 times less than CEOs in America. Obviously, there is nothing to support the notion that a CEO’s pay is related to productivity. Rather, a CEO’s pay is determined by a board of people who were appointed by the CEO. Shareholders do not have the ability to determine CEO pay.
Furthermore, Americans are the hardest working people on the face of the earth. We work more hours than anybody. We have less vacation time. In fact, vacation time is not guaranteed to our workers. If hard work led to being rich, we wouldn’t have so few rich people in America.
Ingraham further goes on to say: “We have a spending addiction in Washington which is why this idea of taxing the rich, the people who are ‘most fortunate’, as if the money just fell into the laps of most of the people who are the so-called wealthy, as if they didn’t work a day for their money! They’re just ‘fortunate’…the money that is going to be sent to Washington in the form of higher taxes is going to be spent, my friend. It’s not going to be used to pay down our debt.”
Ingraham is completely uninformed here. First of all, discretionary spending has remained the same since 2001. What’s changed is defense spending and tax revenue. Revenue is down 21% since 2001. It doesn’t take a smart person to figure out that if we keep cutting taxes and increasing our defense spending, we’re going to have deficits. In fact, if we continue the devasting Bush tax cuts, 50 % of our deficit by 2017 will be from the tax cuts. It’s obvious that the low taxes we have is a major contributor to our deficit. 3 Republicans account for 80% of our debt. What did these 3 presidents do: Cut taxes for the wealthy, increase defense spending, and deregualate.
(I have to run now; I’m interviewing someone. I’ll be back with more details.)