Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Delusional Politicians and the Misguided Presumption of a Mandate to Raise Taxes on Those Earning Over $250,000

Delusional Politicians and the Misguided Presumption of a Mandate to Raise Taxes on Those Earning Over $250,000

The media outlets and liberal politicians either newly elected or reelected have been pontificating on their misguided beliefs the American voters handed them a mandate to raise taxes on their skewed view of what constitutes the wealthy. There are numerous reasons why this theory is wrong.

First and foremost, an election won by slightly more than 50% of the vote does not constitute a mandate. A landslide victory may represent a mandate. But in this election, there was neither a landslide nor a clearly defined explanation as to why any particular politician or party won. The American public voted for the status quo or gridlock. The Republicans retained control of the House and the Democrats retained control of the Senate. Stalemate.   There is plenty of argument that other issues were more pressing than the liberal designs on raising taxes for what they argue are the wealthy.

Secondly, even if the primary reason a slight majority of voters sought to seek a tax increase on the perceived wealthy, it is my guess that only those individuals who have no fear their own taxes would be raised supported that position. There is no question that people who receive the benefits of social programs also known as entitlements vote to retain them. And there are far more of those entitlement recipients than there are voters earning more than $250,000 annually.  So really, what sort of a mandate is that?

And there is no definitive quantifier as to what constitutes “wealthy”. The bar keeps moving. When I was a child a mere 50 years ago, having a million dollars meant one was rich.  On Gilligan’s Island, Thurston Howell, III was a millionaire. Now, that threshold has increased exponentially.  Even in 1962 $250,000 was not considered rich. It was well off, but not rich. Today an annual income of $250,000 means different things depending upon where one lives. In Nebraska it means one can live well. In San Francisco it means one might be able to afford a condo.  Only from the perspective of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi does it mean one is wealthy.

If I were in a position where my income was close to that magic threshold where the liberals are hell bent on subsidizing many who should stand on their own, I would ask my employer to give me more vacation days and less money. I would ask for benefits that would not be taxable but would afford me a better work – life balance.  I would ask for a smaller bonus to avoid being penalized because a member of congress who gets a lifetime pension for serving solely one term decided arbitrarily that $250,000 meant I was rich.  I would have my own private tea party (but with wine) and fight those who tax those who have no representation – the electorate that plays by the rules and works for a living with the belief they should be able to keep what they earn. 

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