by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest column at National Review Online focuses on the inconsistency between President Obama’s anti-rich rhetoric and his disinterest in raising more revenue from his top supporters.
With all the talk of raising taxes on the supposedly conservative rich who make more than $250,000 per year, why not levy a $3 surcharge on tickets for movies, concerts, and sporting events to “spread the wealth” from multimillionaires? That way, LeBron James (approximate annual earnings: $53 million) or Oliver Stone (net worth: approximately $50 million) might at last begin to “level the playing field.”
Is Michael Moore (net worth: approximately $50 million) a one-tenth-of-one-percenter? If so, why do mansion-living-grandee movie directors like Moore and Stone need state subsidies and tax breaks to produce their films, when most states are nearly as insolvent as the federal government?
Warren Buffett likewise did not heed the president’s advice that after 2008 it was not the time to profit. Did he pay any attention to Obama’s additional warning that, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that”? Apparently not. …
… If the country is going to turn redistributionist, then we might as well do so whole-hog — given that eight of the wealthiest ten counties in America voted for Obama. Why not limit mortgage-interest deductions to just one loan under $100,000 — while ending tax breaks altogether for second and third vacation houses?
Under the present system, the beleaguered 99 percent are subsidizing the abodes of Hollywood and Silicon Valley “millionaires and billionaires” — many of whom themselves have been railing against the 1 percent. Should the government provide tens of thousands of dollars in tax breaks for a blue-state 1-percenter to live in tony Palo Alto or Newport Beach when there are plenty of fine homes far cheaper and sitting empty not far away in Stockton and Bakersfield?
Blue states usually have far higher state income taxes that are used as deductions to reduce what is owed on federal income tax. Why should working folks in Nevada or Texas have to pay their fair share, while Wall Streeters get huge federal write-offs from their New York or Connecticut state income taxes?