Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today… On the futility of tax hikes on “the rich” as a means of solving our economic problems…
There are never going to be enough rich people, even if you raise taxes on all the 1%, to close the deficit. It's the spending. At some point, if you want big government and European-style spending, you're going to have to have European-style taxation. There's no discussion of this anywhere in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
[Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today] On the impossibility of making meaningful progress on paying off the national debt by “soaking the rich”…
If you took every single penny that Warren Buffett has, it'd pay for 4-1/2 days of the US government. This tax-the-rich won't work. The problem here is the government is way bigger than even the capacity of the rich to sustain it. The Buffett Rule would raise $3.2 billion a year, and take 514 years just to pay off Obama's 2011 budget deficit.
On the futility of letting the Bush tax rates expire and expecting it to solve the budget deficit…
Do you know how much money is raised by eliminating the Bush tax cuts? It's $824 billion. We're now looking, ladies, at our fifth trillion-plus-dollar deficit. So all during the campaign we shouted our lungs out, we shouted from the mountaintop, "You cannot reduce the deficit, you can't even make a dent in the deficit by letting the Bush tax rates expire! There's not enough money. You can't do it. In fact, if you confiscate all the money the rich have over a million dollars, you run the government for six weeks and then you're out of money. That's how much money we're spending. That's how much money that we are watching go out the door and how much money we're borrowing.”
On the 2007 video showing an angry candidate Obama railing against the federal government for its actions with post-Katrina New Orleans…
Clearly race-baiting, clearly angry, and I'm telling you: This is who he is to this day. This is who he's gonna become if he's reelected. This is who he is today. He hadn't changed. It's who he's been all his life. It's how he was mentored. It was how he was educated and raised. He's no different than the most extreme guest on MSNBC. He just has the ability to cover it up, to mask it. You peel all that away, and this is who he is, always has been.
On liberal accusations that Mitt Romney’s wealth makes him out of touch with normal Americans…
Remind me again – why is being successful as a direct result of your own hard work and education a negative? Why is being successful tantamount to being out of touch? In this country in the American media, the American Left, being successful is out of touch, and that’s a problem. Being successful? Is out of touch? Being successful means you don’t know what people are going through? Being successful means you don’t know about suffering? Being successful means you don’t know about the unsuccessful. Lookit. FDR and the Kennedys were hereditary millionaires… lucky sperm club, they just had to grow up. John Kerry – the haughty John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) – married into his fortune. It’s his wife that owns the houses… The Kennedys, FDR, grew into it. Lucky sperm club. Romney, however, is out of touch, and doesn’t care. Why? ‘cause he worked in the private sector? Because he played by the rules? Because he’s got some bank accounts in the Cayman Islands? Well so does Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, as it turns out. In fact even the U.S. Government has foreign investments in all of these places.
On public anger at Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his U.S. citizenship because of high federal taxes…
The question is, [are] Eduardo Saverin and all these other U.S. corporations – are they guilty of poor citizenship? Or are they simply reacting, entirely normally, to tax policy?… It is clear that it is tax policies – and these tax policies, high taxes, on the rich, on millionaires… [with the] President out there demonizing successful people every day, targeting successful people every day, running a presidential campaign based on class warfare, trying to get the 99 percent of the country who are not in the top 1% to HATE the 1%, to literally despise ‘em. It seems to me that it was the tax policy that came first. The tax policy that came first, that’s chasing people like Eduardo Saverin and other companies out of this country in increasing numbers… I left New York state for the same reason. Now I didn’t have to renounce citizenship, but I left New York state for the same reason. I moved to a state with no state income tax. I’m sure there are people who think that I am not a patriotic New Yorker. I spent 8 years there. I paid my dues. And they still follow me. Every year I get audited. Under the premise I’m lying to them. About the number of days every year I live and work in New York. Which are zero. But I have to prove it 14 different ways. Every day of the year. Where I am. Where my calendar – where I say I was. And I can tell you, I left New York for tax reasons. I’m the first one to admit it. And I’m not the only one.
On the election of Socialist Francois Hollande in France…
So a lot of people are asking me, “What does this mean?” – the election of the avowed socialist in France, Mr. Hollande. What does it mean? It means that France is gone. It means that there are more people on the take than there are producing. Pure and simple… Don’t think Obama hasn’t noticed this. What it means, it only means what it means for France. It’s impossible to extrapolate this. Unless you want to say that we’ve become France, and if we have become France – and I don’t think we’re there yet – but this guy promised to raise taxes on the top 1% by 75%, a millionaire’s tax… and everybody just went for it and elected only the second avowed socialist in French history. The first was Mitterrand, in the 80s. And they said no to austerity… “We’re not going to cut back government, we’re not going to cut spending, no no no, I want my goodies. I want my benefits.”
On statements made by Mitt Romney which are likely to be taken out of context by the media…
Okay. “I like firing people.” “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Both of them – if they’re standalones, and taken out of context – are big problems. And they indicate a problem. Taken in context – which isn’t going to happen, with the drive-by media – taken in context, it’s understandable. But I even have a problem with this in context. “I’m not worried about the poor – we got a safety [net].” The safety net is one of the biggest cultural problems we’ve got. We had better be worried about it, just like we had better get angry over Obamacare. Obamacare is worth getting mad about. Mitt said that it wasn’t. This business – “I’m not worried about the very poor, we got a safety net there.” Right. The safety net is contributing to the destruction of their humanity and their futures.
On the apparently liberal leanings of many of the super-rich…
I’ve had so many people ask me over the years: “Why? Why are all these rich guys all of a sudden so liberal? Buffet. Gates.” Folks, there’s a simple answer. The filthy rich will say they are liberal. They will do things in public that reflect that they might be liberal, to keep the peasants with the pitchforks away from ‘em. It’s all a game. Have you ever heard of a family called the Kennedys. Have you ever heard of a family called the Rockefellers. Every filthy-rich individual or family must spout/support/do, in public, liberal stuff. It is how they convince people that their wealth is justified and is untouchable. It is a protection mechanism. It is to keep the Occupy Wall Street crowd off of their front yards and instead on the front yards of people who work at AIG. That’s all it is.
On Democrat party class warfare tactics…
Out of the blue, the White House, and the Democrats, gave up on their millionaires surtax. Did you notice that? Did you notice that one year ago, they gave up on it too. Almost at the same time… I think, that when it comes right down to it, they’re never actually going to go to the mat demanding a tax increase on the rich in this economy. But I think they’re going to try and get as much mileage out of talking about one, and demanding one, and ripping into the rich, and exploiting class envy, just for the sake of reelection, just like Obama is putting his reelection first over the Keystone Pipeline. I think they think they can get just as much mileage out of the verbiage, blaming the rich, demanding a tax increase on them, without actually doing it.
On President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas…
The elected President of the United States said, in Osawatomie Kansas, trying to be Teddy Roosevelt, that the United States of America has never worked. That is a quote. “Has never worked.” Quote, unquote. Really? What was the first Thanksgiving all about? What was George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation all about? What was 250 years of the greatest prosperity and standard of living known to exist in all of humanity? The President of the United States said yesterday that it has never worked. But he didn’t stop there. He said that Americans must look to a more activist government, that taxes more, spends more, and regulates more, if the middle class is to be preserved. I can’t get my mind around this. This is antithetical to me. This is foreign, this is what we have faced from our enemies, since our founding. This characterization of our country.
On the Occupy Wall Street protestors and their ignorant responses to a reporter’s probing questions about how best to solve the country’s economic problems…
This is who the Democrats created. These people are the result of Democrat party policy, liberalism – this is what you get. Blatant, smug, arrogant stupidity. It really is a shame. It’s a human waste. These peoples’ lives have lost all their potential, because they have been inoculated with the notion that government is the answer, and that being an American means, you want it, you’ll get it. And this lunatic fringe is the Democrat base. Why do you think the Democrats are embracing them? … This is the Democrat base, folks. This is who it is. This is who Pelosi’s talking to every day. This is who Dingy Harry’s talking to every day. This is who Obama’s talking to every day.
On the Occupy Wall Street protestors…
What, exactly, are the contributions to society these protestors have made? How many jobs have they created? How many jobs have they held? Have they built any homes for people? Have they invented any life-saving drugs? Have they produced a drop of gasoline or a watt of electricity? Have they produced any food? Have they built stores? Corporations are nothing but businesses. And businesses are small, medium and large. Small, medium and large what? Small, medium and large collections of people! Productive citizens. Who make things, provide services, respond to the wants and needs and desires of other people. These protestors, who are actually few in number, have contributed nothing. They’re parasites. They’re pure, genuine parasites. Many of them are bored, trust-fund kids, obsessed with being something, being somebody. Meaningless lives, they want to matter.
On the inevitable side effects that follow from Democrat party efforts to punish corporate America…
The Democrats never factor the dynamism into anything they do. They look at everything as static. And they say, “We’re gonna really punish these banks, these banks have been ripping off our voters, these banks have been ripping off our customers, we’re gonna cut that transaction fee in half, we’re gonna make sure these banks only get half of what they’re …” … They have to know the banks are gonna find a back-door way to get that money back and then some. So while the transaction fee has been cut in half by law, here comes a $5 charge, brand new $5 fee, monthly fee, to use the debit card. This is above and beyond whatever your ATM fee is. This is now a $5 monthly fee just to have and use a debit card. Brand new fee. ‘cause you see there’s nothing in Dodd-Frank prohibiting it. Nothing whatsoever. They just fail to calculate the dynamism here. They think that all of these institutions they target for punishment are gonna sit there and take it. It never happens. Every time the Democrats set out as a party to help the little guy, it’s the little guy that ends up getting shafted.
On President Obama’s assertion that he is a warrior fighting on behalf of the middle class…
What is it specifically that Barack Obama has done to protect the middle class? What is it? Was it passing a law that raises their health insurance premiums until they become unaffordable? Was it putting the country on a path to socialized medicine, is that among the things he’s done for the middle class? Was it a moratorium on drilling for oil and gas that has contributed to increased gas and energy costs? Was it all these jobs that have miraculously been created under Obama? Was it conducting a war on prosperity that has resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs, double-digit unemployment, eleven-plus percent in real numbers? Is that what he did for the middle class? Was it pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to smother private sector businesses with regulations that stifle growth and profitability? Was that what he’s done for the middle class? Was it pushing a tax increase on people earning $200,000 that will result in yet another wave of layoffs and business closings?
On President Obama’s speech citing the tax rates paid by billionaire Warren Buffet’s secretary as justification for raising taxes, again, on the rich.
Warren, would you pay your secretary a little bit more, instead of us sitting here having to hear how she pays a higher tax rate than you do? Why don’t you just give her a raise, Mr. Buffet? What are we talking about here? Here’s a guy, a trillionaire, who’s running around, talking about how his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does, which isn’t actually true. Give her a raise. For crying out loud. This poor woman is being made to sound like she can barely get through the day. Because the government is taking so much of what she earns. The top 1% of taxpayers already pay 40% of all income taxes. And by the time you get to the top 5%, you’re at about 70% of all taxes, and yet this bunch comes again proposing a bill that has no way of becoming law, by the way. This is pure Campaign Speech 101 class envy – set Americans against each other, create resentment, and even hatred, between the various economic classes.
On the relationship between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.
Somebody who is rich is not hurting somebody who is poor. Or middle class... A rich person is not hurting anybody. You take all the money away from the rich, where do the people who work for them go? What happens to them? Somebody who's rich is not hurting anybody who's poor, or middle class. Some politician (or) government bureaucrat can destroy your job. Somebody in government can destroy your profession, regulate your profession out of existence. Somebody in government can take your assets, or drive up your costs and prices and do more harm to you than any other person or people. And we look at them as the great equalizers?