National Commentary

The Man and The Plan

It’s no more “Mr. Nice Guy” for President Barack Obama. He has found his ties to the waning Democrats and thrown down the gauntlet to the hard-nosed Republican leaders.

Obama wants to tax the richest Americans to lift us out of our ever-growing deficit. The GOP has given a flat “no” to new taxes for the very rich. The wealthy have not paid their fair share of taxes in years. Even Warren Buffet has publicly acknowledged it is not fair that his secretary pays a higher percentage of her income in taxes than he does. Now is the time for the rich to face the music and pay their share.

Why not increase taxes for the megawealthy when we have 46 million people living below the poverty line in this country? Is there anyone out there making over $500,000 a year who can honestly say they cannot afford to pay more taxes?

The President apparently has given up on compromise with the Republicans. He is finally taking a stand and taking a hard line. The gloves are off.

He could be tearing a page out of Harry Truman’s playbook. Truman stymied and shamed the “do nothing” Congress with his cross-country “whistle stop” campaign by train.

Reporters fast aboard the train had written off Truman’s bid for reelection against New York Governor Tom Dewey in 1948. Truman had lost ground politically, but reporters began to observe the growing crowds waiting at the train depots even at midnight to see Truman and his wife, Bess, waving from the back of the train as Truman taunted his Republican opponents.

On Election Day, some newspapers, such as the Chicago Tribune, declared Dewey the winner. They were wrong, and a sleepy Truman, with a big smile on his face, held up the front page of the Chicago Tribune for the press to see.

Obama has now staked out his position, and he should stand his ground. He has nothing to lose but the country, to the aristocrats who seek economic recovery on the backs of the poor.

In a Rose Garden speech Monday, Obama said “I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing the deficit on the ordinary Americans … and I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare, but does not raise revenues by asking the wealthiest or biggest corporations to pay their share.” The President added, “We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are the most vulnerable.”

Obama seems to be getting a grip on the situation. Known for compromises and cave-ins that he must now regret, he apparently has decided his opponents are not ready to play ball for the sake of the country. Their only goal is to depose Obama. Fair enough, but let’s hear the job growth plans of the Republican presidential candidates. Have you heard of any?

With the USA in such dire straights, where are the caring Americans? Do the Republicans still believe trickle down economics will work? Let’s not forget, besides Reaganomics, during that administration, ketchup became a vegetable for the hungry school children’s menu, and the unemployed were told to “vote with your feet.” Starvation was called “anecdotal” by top Reagan aides.

What’s wrong with yacht and jet plane owners, and the megamansion home owners, kicking in more money – or at least paying their fair share? Prior to the 2001 Bush tax cuts, these super-wealthy who currently only pay between 9 and 16 percent of their income in taxes, would have paid 30 percent in taxes – more in line with what out current middle class pays in taxes.

The poor, and what’s left of the middle class, should stand up against the super-rich Americans who do their business abroad, and move more and more American jobs overseas.

Enough is enough. Come on American voters. Tell the Republicans you want fairness in taxation, and back Obama in pushing for the rich to pay more. We need more revenue for the treasury, and cutting spending is not going to get us out of this mess.