Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday which asked the question, “Does this mean it’s now okay to say that Obama is a redistributionist?” The question was based on a Washington Post article posted on Friday by Zachary A. Goldfarb. Mr. Goldfarb is the Post economics reporter and posted an article about the underlying principles of President Obama’s second term as President.
The Washington Post reports:
Obama’s actions as president provide a glimpse of how he views legislation as a means to his end. His health-care reform law, aimed at covering as many of the uninsured as possible, takes a shot at addressing income inequality by imposing new taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Beginning next year, upper-income earners will pay new surcharges that will result in an average additional tax bill of $20,000 for the top 1 percent. The money will help finance insurance subsidies and other coverage in 2014 for people in the lower middle class and below. A recent study by Cornell University’s Richard Burkhauser estimates that “Obamacare” will add $400 to $800 in disposable income annually for these Americans.
The Post further reports:
Every president talks about education, but Obama’s rhetoric reflects an acute awareness of recent research. The data show that rising inequality is largely the result of a changing economy that handsomely rewards people with better skills or credentials — a college education — and leaves people with a basic education at a disadvantage.
Think about this for a minute. People with better skills or credentials are being rewarded, resulting in more income inequality. Good Grief! Translated loosely that means that people who work hard, go to school, and learn are being rewarded. Why else would they work hard and go to school?
Many (not all) of the basic income inequalities in America are moral and cultural. Studies show that young people who finish school. get married, and have children in that order generally do not wind up in poverty. A year of college will not hurt anyone who applies himself during that year, but without the desire to work hard at getting a college education and the desire to work hard afterward, success will not magically appear.
America is not a third-world country. The poor in America have cars, air conditioners, flat-screen televisions, and the latest cell phone gadgetry. Taking money from the people who actually earn it makes all of us poorer in the long run because it erodes the work ethic of those receiving the money.
President Obama has been re-elected, but it is up to Congress and Americans to protect the opportunity that has historically been America. Being in the welfare system is not an opportunity. If we begin to encourage people to work rather than simply take money from those that do work, income inequality will begin to correct itself. However, we will always have income inequality as long as some of us would rather let someone else work to support us.