Why does the president want to raise taxes? Reply

By Tom Quiner

It’s a fair question, don’t you think?

The president and his party want to raise income taxes on America’s most productive workers. In other words, he wishes to create a deterrent for more productivity out of them by letting them keep less of the fruits of their labor.

It’s a terrible idea, because taxes on productivity don’t bring in much revenue for the government during a bad economy. In fact, it might bring in even less than leaving rates alone. Watch the video above for a quick tutorial.

The president knows this. So why does he really want to raise taxes on this elite one percent of highly productive Americans? Let’s analyze his comments on the subject over the last few years:

In an interview with Charlie Rose, the interviewer pointed out the concerns I expressed above. What did Mr. Obama say?

“Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

The president isn’t concerned with revenue, he’s concerned with redistribution.

Do you remember what Mr. Obama said to Joe the Plumber?

‘‘It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.’’

The president isn’t concerned with revenue, he’s concerned with redistribution.

At a press conference in Illinois last year, the president said:

“We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.” [Emphasis mine.]

The president isn’t concerned with revenue, he’s concerned with redistribution. He wants to tax successful people for being too successful, even though the share of the nation’s wealth owned by the top 1% has been dropping for over three decades; even though the rich have paid a growing share of the nation’s tax burden over the past three decades.

So much for the American Dream.

What is the president’s campaign strategy? “Vote for me and I’ll take money from the most successful Americans and give it to you.”


Can I put you on? 2

By Tom Quiner

What do Elton John and Barack Obama have in common?

A song.

Today is the 41st anniversary of Mr. John’s first live album titled 11.17.70.  It was recorded on November 17th, 1970, in the A & R Studios in New York and was broadcast live on radio.

This album was one of my first exposures to Mr. John’s music, and I was quite taken with it. I’m a piano player. Most of the rock music of the mid and late 60s was driven by the electric guitar. I like rock music that is driven by the piano. I like it even better when accompanied by strong melody.

That’s what Elton delivered then and now: pop rock music with infectious melodies and great piano accompaniment.

Listening to some of the tracks from 11.17.70 today, I couldn’t help but think of President Obama as I reacquainted  myself with the song, “Can I put you on?” which I’ve  linked above.

Mr. John sings Bernie Taupin’s lyrics which features this relevant refrain:

“Can I put you on, people can I put you on
Tell you that I love you people
Sing a salesman’s song and put you on.”

Mr. Obama puts us on when he talks about jobs. Take the Korean Free Trade Agreement. The Bush administration initiated, negotiated and finalized this job creator for America in 2007. It required final confirmation from the new President and new Congress.

They sat on it in 2008 as unemployment went up.

They sat on it in 2009 as unemployment went up.

They sat on it in 2010 as unemployment continue to hover above nine percent.

Finally, after three years of economic stagnation, the president and his party finally passed the thing in December. But while we dawdled, Europe swooped in and cut their own agreement with South Korea at America’s expense.

This president claims he’s all about creating jobs. As Elton would say, “Can I put you on?”

The same thing happened with the Columbia Free Trade Agreement, another job creator for America. President Bush and his team had the agreement all set to go in 2007. The Obama/Reid team sat on it as American stagnated, until just a few weeks ago.

Why all the delays? The unions got involved and wanted the agreements to be less free.

This president claims he’s all about creating jobs. As Elton would say, “Can I put you on?”

Some of the best jobs in America are energy jobs. And yet the president has blocked offshore drilling for oil even as Mexico, Russia, Cuba, and Canada move into to scoop up the oil in fields adjacent to ours.

The president has put the Keystone XL pipeline on hold until after the election, which puts on hold the 20,000 jobs economists say would be created by building this pipeline from Canada to Texas. So what is Canada going to do in the meantime? Prime Minister Harper says they’ll send the energy to Asia instead.

This president is only interested in creating jobs for public employee unions (who received billions from the Obama stimulus package) and green energy companies like Solyndra who take our money, spread it among Obama campaign contributors, and then go broke.

In the meantime, Asia, Russia, Cuba, Canada, Mexico, and everyone else is snatching up our jobs while the president plays liberal politics.

This president is about creating jobs?

“Can I put you on?”





The tragedy of John Edwards and Barack Obama 1

By Tom Quiner

One of the divisive issues within the Catholic Church is social justice.

On one side are well-intentioned folks who promote expansive government involvement in providing for the lower end of society, however you define that. This group tends to be liberal politically.

On the other side are well-intentioned folks who say social justice begins in the womb. Their energies are directed toward helping the pre-born and agitating for more just legislation in the pro life arena. This group tends to be conservative politically.

Barack Obama, although not a Catholic, falls into the first category. Social justice Catholics tend to adore him.

President Obama could do so much good, but he isn’t. He has the same skewed vision of social justice as so many others. To them, it tends to be about economics. It’s about money.  It’s about redistribution of wealth.

What has he done?

He raised the minimum wage. The result? The unemployment rate for black teen age boys exploded. Over half are unemployed.

Is this social justice?

What else has he done? He fights any attempt to limit abortion. Over half of pregnancies in the African-American community end with an abortion. As a consequence, the population of this demographic segment of American is on the decline.

Is this social justice?

He and politicians like him have erected a “Great Society” over the past forty to fifty years. The result? Families have broken up as the out-of-wedlock birth rate exploded. Now, most kids in the African American community are raised in single parent households. So what, you may ask? Here’s what: these children perform worse in school; they’re more likely to get hooked on drugs; they’re more likely to hurt someone else or get hurt themselves; they’re more likely to go to jail; they’re more likely to be unemployed.

Is any of this social justice?

As Pope John Paul II demonstrated, it is culture that matters most.  It is culture that drives history. The American culture of independence, self-reliance, and personal responsibility is being replaced with one of dependence, reliance upon the state, and irresponsibility toward society’s children. Increasingly, men view children to be the responsibility of the taxpayers, not themselves.

That is the tragedy of John Edwards. Not that taxpayers will be on the hook to raise his illegitimate child. He represents another high profile example of a man shirking his marital vows.  One out of four white children are now born out of wedlock.  It’s more than two out of three in the black community.

The tragedy of President Obama is that he doesn’t see the root causes of the problem, that he is in fact a political adversary to the type of solutions that can make a difference.

A theologian, R.R. Reno, spelled it out very well writing in “Public Square:”

“A Christian who hopes to follow the teachings of Jesus needs to reckon with a singular fact about American poverty: Its deepest and most debilitating deficits are moral, not financial; the most serious deprivations are cultural, not economic. Many people living at the bottom of American society have cell phones, flat-screen TVs, and some of the other goodies of consumer culture. But their lives are a mess.”

If we want to fight poverty, let’s change the culture.

The unspoken debate 3

By Tom Quiner

Carved into the wall in the nation's Capitol are the words: "In God We Trust."

Here’s what you couldn’t see at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Obama: carved in the wall above his head as he spoke were these proud words:

“In God We Trust.”

The President dishonored these words when he said:

“We are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea — the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.”

That is not the singular idea upon which this nation was built. The singular idea was stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence. It proclaimed that each person has fundamental rights that flow from God which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Fundamental, God-given rights were the stated cornerstone of America.

The president delivered his speech in the nation’s capital. As spoke, he could see across the room a carving of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. Elsewhere in the Capitol, religious themes were expressed in magnificent artwork. The Embarkation of the Pilgrims immortialized their day of prayer and fasting.

Discovery of the Mississippi by Desoto shows a praying monk as a crucifix is placed on the ground. The Baptism of Pocahontas pays tribute to this central Christian sacrament.

May I ask you a question? Why is okay to invoke God in the nation’s capitol, but not in our schools? Why have the courts said the Ten Commandments aren’t fit our kids, but they’re okay for our Congressman?

The removal of God from the public square was never intended by the Founding Fathers. How do I know? Because they’re the ones who put God there. They built this nation on Judeo-Christian principles.

Without God, anything is possible, like 40 million abortions, like same-sex marriage.

Some conservatives say that there are other more pressing issues for us to worry about like crushing national debt. That’s a big issue, I agree. But if you strip away a nation’s value system, you don’t know who you are anymore. And then we cease to be America.

America’s value system was built around God. It says so right on the wall overlooking the President as he gave his state of the union address.

In God we trust.