With regular people still struggling, the economy barely showing signs of life and hope being in short supply, President Barack Obama has chosen to play politics. Instead of pledging to cut taxes even further and make the tax cuts passed by his predecessor, George W. Bush, permanent, our president has chosen to stick with the liberal mantra that we should increase taxes on the so-called rich.
In 2001 and 2003 the Bush administration passed a tax package that cut federal income taxes across the board. Those were temporary cuts and if Congress does nothing, taxes will rise for everyone - an unspeakable crime in these economic conditions.
Obama, of course, does not want that to happen. Instead, he wants a new plan that keeps the cuts for individuals making up to $125,000 and couples making up to $250,000. Anyone who makes more than that, you can practically hear him say, can afford it and deserves to be punished by having to pay more into the sinkhole that is our government.
Along the ridiculous traditional party lines, Democrats favor tax cuts for the middle class on down with an increased burden on the rich, and Republicans want taxes cut on the upper end of the income scale. The liberals think the "rich" should pay for their success (no matter how hard they worked to attain it) and the conservatives blame the poor for being a drain on public resources (no matter how hard they work to escape).
This entire argument supports nobody except the politicians. By arguing for their side on the poor/rich spectrum, Republicans and Democrats get to play to their party bases. It all sounds nice in commercials where Democrats get to go after "fat cats" and Republicans can attack "wasteful social programs," but it's all hogwash meant to ensure the status quo.
All Americans should be fighting for lower taxes for everyone because across all levels of the economy, we can spend our money better than our elected officials can. The government has not been able to spend its way out of this recession no matter how many tax dollars it confiscates.
Only regular people, investing in the economy, building businesses, buying things and spending their dollars can fix the economy. Less money paid in taxes means more money that flows straight into the economy. It's stimulus without the politics and the wastefulness.
Instead of letting Washington increase taxes on anyone, the people must demand accountability from their government. Where has our money gone and why do they need more of it? Why do they persist in calling for tax increases when historical data clearly shows that lowering the tax burden actually increases revenues for the government.
It's easy to look at someone with money and assume they can afford to give the government a little more. What we can't see when we look at someone in a nice house or driving a nice car is exactly how hard they worked to get there. We also can't see the money they spend buying things, the people they employ and the overall impact their money has on the economy.
It's easy to hate the rich and claim they don't pay their fair share. That said, if Donald Trump wants to buy a diamond-crusted blimp with his name painted on it in melted gold, well, that's a lot of jobs for a lot of people.
I trust rich people making silly purchases to fix the economy a lot more than I trust Democrats or Republicans to come up with a solution. I also trust that if you take less money from everyone - be they rich, poor or middle class - that regular people will spend it far better than any politician ever will.
- Daniel B. Kline's work appears in more than 100 papers weekly (facebook.com/dankline).