By Mencken’s Ghost
Jan. 25, 2012
Let’s play the Obama political game and pretend that politics is not about theft and power but about fairness. I know it’s a big suspension of reality, but you can do it.
Note: There’s another political game in which you take Romney, Gingrich et al. at their word that it’s all about saving the nation from Obama and not about theft and power.
The first rule of the game is that you ignore the fact that Obama has received approximately $100 million in campaign contributions for the coming election and has not paid one penny in taxes on this money, for a tax rate of zero. (The same for Romney and the over $30 million he has received in contributions.)
In other words, you ignore the fact that Obama doesn’t have to pay taxes on money he received to further his career, to live free of charge in a nice house, to get a nice pension and Secret Service protection for the rest of his life, and to make tens of millions, as Bill Clinton did, in giving speeches after leaving the White House.
Second, you have to jump through intellectual and moral hoops to rationalize that it’s fair for Obama to get this money tax-free to live like royalty, but it’s not fair for my wife and I to leave our life’s savings to our son tax-free, so that he might be the first of our respective working-class families in three generations to maybe make it to the upper class, or to further his studies, or to give it to charity, or to do whatever he wants with it. In other words, you have to believe that it wouldn’t be fair for our son to get the family’s money, which has already been taxed multiple times, without it being taxed again in the form of an estate tax; but it is fair for Obama to get strangers’ money without it being taxed.
You’re doing great so far. Now you’re thinking like most Democrats, including the supremely smug hypocrite, Warren Buffet, who, while preaching about the goodness of the estate tax and the evils of leaving money to one’s offspring, has established his offspring in lucrative and secure positions as the heads of his foundations. My wife and I don’t have foundations and thus don’t have that option. Do you?
Incidentally, many politicians share Buffet’s love of the estate tax while using their influence and contacts to set up their kids to follow them in politics as mayors, governors, members of Congress, or presidents--positions of power and influence that are much more valuable over a lifetime than a monetary inheritance. Think of what John, Ted and Robert Kennedy inherited; or what George W. Bush and his brother Jeb inherited; or what Richard M. Daley inherited; or what Andrew Cuomo inherited, or what Mitt Romney inherited, or what hundreds of other powerful politicians inherited from their political forebears without paying a penny in taxes on this valuable form of inheritance.
Here’s the third and final rule of the game: You have to think it’s fair for a politician to hold one office while running for a bigger office, all the while being paid a salary by taxpayers for the current office. It’s not just Obama who has done this. Among many others, Rick Perry also did it by running for the presidency while still being governor of Texas. Then Perry took the credit for the Texas economy while proving that the state could run just fine with him being AWOL from the governor’s office.
If you are able to follow these rules, you win the political game. You can now collect your prize of being known throughout your life as a total idiot.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.