I caught a good portion of Obama’s press conference this evening. As usual it was a virtuoso performance so far as performances are judged. Realistically, it didn’t add anything new to the debate and he clearly now views this as a campaign to get public opinion on his side.
I could go on about this but let me just concentrate on one facet — the tax on the wealthy to help fund it. I thought he might duck this one but he came out full force in favor of the concept.
From Politico.com, here’s what he said:
Obama endorsed a House committee’s plan to fund part of the new program by imposing a surtax on families making over $1 million a year – but insisted he would not support any bill that helped fund the $1 trillion plan with a tax on middle-class families.
“To me, that meets my principles,” Obama said of the so-called millionaires tax, while indicating he is also open to other funding proposals. “That is not being shouldered by families that are already having a tough time.”
That’s probably a quote you want to file away. Millionaires and even semi-millionaires are not dumb enough that they will be unable to work their way around the new tax. If they can’t, they certainly aren’t going to work hard to maintain incomes that will approach marginal tax rates of 60% in some jurisdictions.
It will be the same old Washington story. Promise to take it from those who have much to give and when that doesn’t work out and you’re too deep into the spending to do anything else push it down to the middle class. You can take that scenario to the bank.